The Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) has partnered with security agencies to enhance the fight against poaching in all 16 national parks across the east African nation.
“The fight against poaching is complex as some poachers are now using sophisticated weapons,” TANAPA Director General Allan Kijazi told a meeting here on Sunday.
He said TANAPA has been working with the police force in arresting and taking to court poachers.
Nsato Marijani, commissioner of operations and training in the Tanzania Police Force, said: “We’re aware of the challenges facing TANAPA in fighting poaching as poachers come up with new techniques every day.”
Marijani said the police force is currently protecting the national parks and game reserves by conducting day and night patrols.
Officers are also trained on how to fight poachers who are using sophisticated weapons, he said.
Speaking during the commemorations of World Wildlife Day in Dodoma in March this year, an official from the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Dennis Ikanda, said 250 lions are killed every year in Tanzania by poachers, raising fears of the possible extinction of the animals.
Ikanda said the number of lions has dropped from about 25,000 in 2010 to 16,000 currently.
He said about 80 percent of the lions live in national parks, but it is the remaining 20 percent that live in the unprotected forests that are at high risk of poaching. Enditem