24 February 2013

Tanzania: Elephant Tusks Worth 200 Million Shillings Recovered in Songea

Village game scouts and the anti-poaching unit of Tanzania's Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism have recovered 200 million shillings ($123,000) worth of elephant tusks in the Selous Game Reserve in the Ruvuma region, Tanzania's The Guardian reported Saturday (February 23rd).

The game rangers, with additional assistance from the Game Frontiers of Tanzania (GFT) and Mbaran'gandu Wildlife Management Area community, also seized one rifle, said Bernard Lijaji, acting head of the reserve's western zone.

The anti-poaching unit has been conducting regular patrols in the reserve since January with funding from the GFT. Its rounds will continue until hunting operations close in June.

Tanzania last year requested permission from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to sell some of its ivory stockpile, a request that it postponed in January in order to improve controls on poaching and tighten restrictions on ivory smuggling.

A report submitted to parliament in 2012 estimated that 30 elephants are killed in Tanzania daily.

"Elephant poaching is very serious and needs a lot of resources to scale down the magnitude of the problem," said deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu.

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