128 POACHERS ARRESTED IN CENTRAL TANZANIA IN ONE YEAR

ARUSHA, Tanzania, Tanzanian anti-poaching unit has arrested 128 poachers in central parts of the east African nation for the past one year, an official said on Saturday.

Keneth Sanga, head of central Tanzania's anti-poaching unit, said in an interview with Xinhua that the suspected poachers were arrested in different parts of central Tanzania's regions of Singida and Dodoma between 2016 and this year.

He revealed that most of the suspects were found in possession of weapons, government trophies. Some poachers were found inside the Rungwa-Kizigo and Muhesi game reserves.

"But, we're optimistic that during the period poaching incidents have gone down compared to the past 3 years," the official said, adding that anti-poaching operations have been bearing fruits as there are more poachers arrested compared to the past.

He also said some of the suspected poachers were being found with elephant tusks, bush meat and others with timbers.

According to Sanga, some of the suspected poachers are now serving their sentences in different prisons, while others their cases are in advanced stages in different courts across central Tanzania.

Sanga said the Tanzanian government has impounded all transport vessels such as vehicles and motorcycles used by the suspects in accomplishing their poaching missions.

He, however, unveiled that between 2016 and 2017, six people have been killed by elephants in the two regions of Singida and Dodoma.

"Those people were killed due to little knowledge on how to deal with elephants in terms of their characters," Sanga said.

"We're now educating people particularly those who are living close to the sanctuaries on how to deal with wildlife once they storm into their localities." said Sanga.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK