23 July 2012

Tanzania: Choppers to Be Used to Fight Poaching

Conservation authorities will use choppers to fight poaching in Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park - the country's most popular tourist destinations (file photo).

Arusha — AERIAL patrols are set to be initiated by conservation authorities here to fight poaching. The Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), both based in Arusha will join forces in conducting aerial patrolling using helicopters to combat poaching, crime and other illegal acts in the Northern Circuit.

A Tourism Officer with Tanzania National Parks, Mr Johnson Manase, revealed that TANAPA and NCAA had agreed to pool their resources together and fight poaching.

"We will have wildlife rangers on the ground and a helicopter in the sky for faster rescue operations as well as aerial perambulation," stated Mr Manase.

On his part, the Public Relations Manager for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, Mr Adam Akyoo, said the joint patrol initiative was taken because the area under NCAA and Serengeti were too close.

"The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the Serengeti National Park and Kenya's Maasai Mara, all form the 'Serengeti Eco-system,' that is why during migrations millions of animals move back-and-forth between the three destinations," explained Mr Akyoo.

He pointed out that any attack on Serengeti also affects Ngorongoro and vice-versa, therefore a joint patrol between the two was necessary. Ngorongoro, whose main selling point is the wildlife filled, giant volcanic crater, and the Serengeti, an endless plain filled with practically all species that came off Noah's ark after the legendary floods, account for 850,000 tourists out of the 1 million visitors who tour Tanzania every year.

With such high number of visitors, both the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National park are essentially Tanzania's most popular and equally sensitive destinations that call for high-level protection.

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