Tanzania to Auction Crocodiles and Hippos Near Villages

Dar es Salaam — The minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, Dr Hamisi Kigwangalla (pictured), revealed on Saturday that the government was planning to sell ten per cent of crocodiles and all hippos in water bodies, which are located near villages.

Dr Kigwangalla, who made the revelation via his twitter handle, said the decision was meant to reduce conflicts between people and wild animals, especially those residing near the water bodies.

He said many people living close to the water bodies, which are home to the crocodiles and hippos, citing Mpanda, Babati and Mafia, have either lost their lives or suffered life-threatening attacks.

The minister said that the crocodiles and hippos will be sold through public auctioning, adding that the government will announce the auctioning process this week.

"There are many cases of people being attacked by the crocodiles and hippos in several areas besides destruction of crops and other properties, but we have come up with a plan, which we believe will reduce such incidents," said Dr Kigwangalla.

The minister admitted that despite the government's efforts to control the wildlife they have continued to cause substantial losses to people living around the water bodies. The minister, however, urged people not to retaliate by killing the multi-tonne creatures, advising them to contact rangers who have skills to drive them away.

According to him the ministry will issue special permits for the qualified bidder to hunt and skin the animals before they are sold in local and international markets.

The minister also revealed that the government plans to fence some notorious areas where crocodiles, has been attacking people. These include Ruvu and Mafia.

Speaking to The Citizen, the deputy minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, Costantine Kanyasu, said the government made this decision after realising that it would be spend lots of money to relocate them to other water bodies.

"It is hard and expensive to control the wildlife. We have been receiving cases of attacks nearly every day," said Mr Kanyasu.

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