At least 50 Tanzanians killed annually by wild animals-official
London, Nov. 10, 2020 (AltAfrica)-At least 50 people in Tanzania are killed by wild animals annually, a senior official with the country’s wildlife authorities has revealed
Mabula Nyanda, a conservation commissioner with the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA), said the wild animals that stray from their sanctuaries also destroy at least 5,000 hectares of farm crops annually.
“The number of people killed by wild animals is on the rise and urgent measures are needed to address this horrific situation,” Nyanda told a meeting of wildlife conservation officers at TAWA headquarters in Morogoro region.
The official said TAWA has already put in place a plan aimed at controlling the human-wildlife conflicts that cause dire consequences to mankind.
Nyanda singled out elephants as the leading wild animals that strayed from national parks and game reserves to villages, killing people and destroying farms
Meanwhile, more than 2,000 wildlife and forestry products have been seized in several countries around the world following a month-long joint operation by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) and the World Customs Organization (WCO).
Code-named Operation Thunder 2020, the operation ran from September 14 – October 11, 2020, and resulted in large seizures of protected wildlife and forestry specimens and products, triggering arrests and investigations worldwide.
“Focusing on pre-identified routes and hotspots, Operation Thunder 2020 resulted in more than 2,000 seizures of wildlife and forestry products. In total, 699 offenders were apprehended and at least one Interpol Red Notice has already been requested based on information gained during the operation,” Interpol said in a statement Monday.
It said further arrests and prosecutions are anticipated as ongoing global investigations progress.
Among the countries where the seizures were made are Cameroon, Mexico, Zimbabwe, and India.
In Cameroon, Interpol said customs officers seized 187 elephant tusks (856 kg of ivory) from a truck crossing the border from Gabon while Mexican law enforcement agents rescued an adult female white tiger, a jaguar and a four-month old lion cub in Sinaloa.
In Zimbabwe, police thwarted the transfer of 32 live chimpanzees from the Democratic Republic of Congo while in India customs officials intercepted an 18-ton shipment of red sandalwood destined for the United Arab Emirates.
The total seized contraband in India included over 1.3 tons of ivory, over 1 ton of pangolin scales, representing approximately 1,700 killed pangolins, 56,200 kg of marine products, 87 truckloads of timber (950 tons) and 15,878 kg of plants.
“More than 45,500 live animal and plant specimens were recovered during the operation, including 1,400 turtles and tortoises and 6,000 turtle or tortoise eggs, 1,160 birds and 1,800 reptiles,” Interpol said.
A total of 103 countries around the globe participated in the operation against environmental crime, focusing particularly on vulnerable species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Cgtn