There have been no reported cases of elephant poaching in the 500-kilometre Tanzania-Kenya border region for five years, Tanzania's Daily News reported Friday (June 27th).
Joint patrol missions co-ordinated by the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) have found that elephant numbers have started to increase in Longido, West Kilimanjaro and Engaresero areas.
"We conducted wildlife survey in 2010 when a total of 1,200 elephants were counted and when another census was repeated last year, the results have just revealed an increase of 700 jumbos and how the Longido-Oloitokitok-West Kilimanjaro ecosystem has over 1,900 elephants," said Julius Cheptei, deputy director of the Kenya Wildlife Services in charge of the Southern Zone.
Komolo Simeli, head of Enduimet Wildlife Management Area in Longido district, said the areas have succeeded through training local residents as scouts to officially patrol the area, as well as involving villagers, cattle herders and women in reporting any suspected poachers in the vicinity.
However, despite the successes of the joint anti-poaching drive, AWF Director John Saleh noted concerns over non-standardised penalties for poaching. He called on Tanzania to bring its penalties in line with the more stringent punishments given by Kenya.