30 September 2012

Tanzania: Jumbos Go on Rampage in Serengeti

Serengeti — STRAY elephants have gone on rampage at Nata Ward in Serengeti District, destroying crops and thatch-roofed houses, local leaders reported on Saturday.

This has left scores of families homeless and without any crops to harvest, according to the Acting Chairman of Serengeti District Council, Mr Jumanne Kwiro. "Elephants have destroyed crops and houses. They have also caused fear and this is a serious problem", Mr Kwiro told the 'Sunday News' over the phone.

"We are still assessing the exact damage in terms of losses inflicted to the villagers, but the situation is tense here", the civic leader remarked. He accused the Tanzania National Park (TANAPA) of indifference to the situation. The stray jumbos probably crossed to the villages from the Serengeti National Park.

The world famous park is estimated to have over 3,400 elephants at present, according to official figures issued by the park's chief warden at Seronera. "Up to now people are helpless and TANAPA rangers are just watching the destruction without taking any action", Mr Kwiro charged.

Villagers say such destruction of crops has been causing food insecurity and threatening development activities in communities surrounding the country's game protected areas for decades. The elephants are reported to have also killed a number of civilians. TANAPA officials were not immediately available to comment on the latest destruction caused by the elephants.

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