Arusha — Elephant poaching in northern Tanzania’s wildlife sanctuary, Tarangire National Park, has gone down for the past two years, a senior park official said on Sunday.
Park tourism officer Geoffrey Mboma said that killing of elephants in the park for their tusks has been largely contained, and between July 2014 to early this year, only four elephants were killed by suspected poachers.
Located in the southeast of Lake Manyara on the Tarangire River, the park is home to nearly 5,000 elephants.
“Indiscriminate killing of animals for their trophies has also been contained due to intensified patrol and involvement of the local communities in conservation,” said Mboma.
Stephano Qolli, chief park warden, however, expressed concern that increased human activities may affect the wildlife migration, and result in the drop of animals in the park.
He said the animal pathways, mainly linking Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Park, have been turned into human settlements while livestock grazing inside the park is now common despite being prohibited.
“Once there is an ecological disturbance increase in human activities, the animals would simply migrate to other areas or get killed when they wonder into the villages,” he said.
He called on the Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa) and the relevant ministries to coordinate to address invasion of protected areas by livestock keepers and farmers, saying it defeated the whole purpose of conservation.
Tarangire is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania. The name of the park originates from the Tarangire River that crosses through the park, the only source of water for wild animals during dry seasons.