ANTIPOACHING OPERATION IN SERENGETI SEES 4 POACHERS KILLED IN FIRE FIGHT
News were confirmed over the weekend that 4 poachers, caught red handed trying to hack the tusks out of a recently killed elephant, met their fate when they foolishly decided to engage in a fire fight with anti poaching patrols and rangers in the Serengeti National Park.
While every loss of human life is regrettable, the news were nevertheless greeted with enthusiasm among the country’s conservation fraternity, seeing that SENAPA staff were making good of government promises to combat poaching, a menace which is threatening the country’s big tourism business. Said a regular source from Arusha yesterday when calling in the news: ‘Our poaching situation is dire. The entire Serengeti only has about 200 rangers and yet it is almost 15.000 square kilometers large. We need to invest more in anti poaching and maybe, like you wrote last week, also use those drones which they have started to bring to Kenya. That could provide the surveillance and then the rangers can be airlifted to any suspicious movements seen. Commercial poaching is the greatest threat to our tourism industry now. The news of elephant killings are putting potential clients off. We need to work hand in hand with our partners from abroad to help finance anti poaching. But other issues like the Lake Natron project are not helping us here. We need to go back to the single commitment our founding father made to the nation and the world, to promote conservation at all cost. Now those poachers were firing first on the approaching rangers and paid with their life for it. Let it be a lesson to others, their days are numbered’.
The anti poaching unit recovered a machine gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, traditional weapons like spears and bows / arrows as well as slings and traps from the camp of the poachers. No identification has been possible until now and security organs are said to be searching villages neighbouring the park for anyone reported missing over the past few days, also with the aim to find any potential accomplices still at large. Watch this space.