Elephant killings in Tanzania brings scrutiny on murky international agreement


(Posted 11th July 2024)


Courtesy of Africa Elephant News / Stenews and The Wildlife Society


Hunting had been effectively banned for decades before recent months

Conservation groups and pro-hunting interests are clashing over the killing of elephants in northern Tanzania, just south of a Kenyan national park. Amboseli National Park is a popular wildlife viewing destination for tourists, and the area south of the Tanzanian border that it straddles has been relatively safe for elephants in recent decades. But since September 2023, at least five male African bush elephants (Loxodonta Africana) have been killed just south of the border in Tanzania—possibly by trophy hunters. While a tacit agreement has been in place between Tanzania and Kenya for some time to protect elephants near the border, official details on the pact are murky.
In the mid-1990s, a similar string of killings caused public outcry, prompting Tanzania to place a nine-month moratorium on hunting in the area adjacent to the Kenyan national park. But it’s unclear if any further agreement ever emerged between the two countries.
Some conservationists believe hunting should be banned, while safari groups maintain that hunting can bring a net benefit to local communities affected by conflict with elephants, which in turn helps conservation.
Adds ATCNews: The elephants killed were all so called super tuskers, i.e. old bulls with very large tusks, all of whom play a crucial role in the elephant community and the training of young elephant bulls. 

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