Home Science Environmental news Tanzanian army develops “thunder flash” for driving away marauding elephants

Tanzanian army develops “thunder flash” for driving away marauding elephants

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Photo taken on April 5, 2021 shows elephants in Omaruru, Namibia. TO GO WITH: "Free roaming elephants in Namibia exacerbate human-wildlife conflict: official" (Photo by Kaula Nhongo/Xinhua)
(Photo by Kaula Nhongo/Xinhua)

The Tanzania People’s Defense Forces (TPDF) has developed a thunder flash, also known as stun grenade, for driving away marauding elephants, Minister for Defense and National Service Stergomena Lawrence Tax has said.

The thunder flash, a less lethal explosive device, will temporarily disorient elephants’ senses that raid human settlements, the minister told lawmakers on Monday, while presenting her ministry’s budget estimates for the 2024/2025 financial year.

Tax launched the thunder flash on May 13 at the Makutupora National Service camp, saying it had been developed by the TPDF’s subsidiary company, Mzinga Corporation, in collaboration with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute.

On May 3, Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism Angellah Kairuki announced measures to control human-wildlife conflicts, mainly elephant attacks.

One measure is to hire 1,187 new game rangers over the next two years to strengthen wildlife conservation and control wild animals from raiding residential areas, Kairuki said, responding to lawmakers’ concerns over rising instances of elephant attacks across the country.

She said another measure is to continue collaring elephants, enabling rangers to track stray elephants that raid farm crops and residential areas.

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