Two poachers nabbed over giraffe meat amid the animal’s population rise

Babati. The Special Anti-Poaching Squad in the area of Burunge Game Reserve Community in Babati District, Manyara Region, has arrested two people in the village of Vilima Kituta for allegedly hunting and unlawful possession of the giraffe meat.

Manyara Regional Police Commander George Katabazi has said this today on February 3, 2023 when speaking to The Citizen.

The RPC has said the suspects have been arrested as a result of an anti-poaching operation in the area.

He has named the suspects as Athuman Issa Misanya (23) and Paul Himid John (23), both residents of Mamire Ward in the district.

"We are interrogating them, and on Monday, if the procedures are completed, we will take them to court," he said.

Speaking about the incident, Senior Assistant Commissioner of the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) Peter Mbanjoko warned those involved in poaching that they would not be safe.

 "TAWA, in cooperation with the police and the officers of Burunge WMA, and TANAPA will continue to strengthen the security in Burunge WMA and other areas, and no poacher will be spared," he stressed.

He has said the suspects, who were taken to the Babati Police Station yesterday, have been arrested along with the giraffe meat found stuffed into bags that were being ferried on a motorcycle with the registration number MC361EDY.

 "There are also many other poaching items that we have caught them with," he said.

The head of the Defence Department of the Chem Chem Institute, who has been in the Hamis Chamkulu area, said the suspects were arrested yesterday at 6:30 in the morning.

 "He said the suspects are illegal hunters and are accused of selling game meat in Babati Town," he said.

TAWA's lawyer, Getrude Kariongi, has said in the operation, one wholesale buyer of the giraffe meat, which he has allegedly been distributing in the streets, has also been arrested after being named by the suspects found with the meat.

Babati District Council Wildlife Officer Emmanuel Laizer has warned the residents of the district of not engaging in poaching, which he has said, it is economic sabotage and they will be arrested once doing so.

The Burunge Wildlife Reserve Community Area (Burunge WMA), located between the Tarangire and Manyara national parks, has a large number of wildlife including that of giraffes due to improved conservation.