Tanzania moves to control killings of wild animals by reckless motorists

DAR ES SALAAM, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), responsible for the management of the East African nation's 22 national parks, said Thursday plans are underway to control the killings of wild animals by reckless drivers passing through Mikumi National Park.

Herman Mtei, a conservation official for the Morogoro region where the national park is located, said the plans included fitting closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras along the 50-km road stretch crossing the national park.

"The CCTV cameras will help Mikumi National Park authorities to apprehend speeding motorists and prosecute them," said Mtei.

Mtei told journalists that although there was a speed limit of 50 km per hour for the 50-km road stretch crossing the park, motorists have been ignoring the speed limit, knocking down wild animals as they crossed the road in the national park.

Mtei said another plan was to mete out punitive fines for motorists that kill wild animals, explaining that the fine for killing an elephant or a giraffe is 15,000 U.S. dollars, and 9,000 U.S. dollars for killing a rhinoceros.

"These fines will act as a deterrent to reckless motorists," said the official.

He said more than 700 wild animals are killed annually along the road by speeding motorists who ignored the 50 km per hour speed limit.

Covering an area of 3,230 square kilometers, Mikumi National Park, located between the Uluguru Mountains on the northeast side and the Rubeho and Udzungwa mountains on the southwest side, is home to elephants, giraffes, buffalo, zebras, moose, wildebeest and lions and many species of birds.

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