Tanzanian wildlife authorities on Thursday warned livestock keepers against grazing their animals in the Ruaha National Park, one of the largest protected areas in the country and the east African region.

Pius Mzimbe, a conservation commissioner of the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) for southern regions, told journalists that grazing in the national park will lead to heavy penalties.

“Grazing livestock in the national park is not advisable because cattle could infect wildlife animals with diseases such as anthrax,” said the official.

Mzimbe added that fishing activities in rivers in the Ruaha National Park covering 20,226 square kilometers was also not allowed.

Ruaha National Park was formerly known for its large elephant population reaching 34,000 in 2009 before the population declined to only 15,836, and down to 4,759 in 2015 because of poaching.

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