Posted on 09 January 2018
Two notorious hippo poaching suspects along Ruvuma River were apprehended through informer notification in Namtumbo District. The two arrested poachers with two motorcycles are under police and court custody in Namtumbo district and more suspects are being tracked by the joint patrol teams that are currently doing intensive field patrols in Tunduru and Namtumbo districts.
The suspects were found in possession of hippo meat.
Records of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) show that between 2004 and 2014 Hong Kong reported importing almost 60 tons of teeth from wild hippos in Africa for commercial purposes—nearly half from Uganda. Under CITES a regulated legal trade in hippo ivory is allowed, and trade figures show that the source countries are now predominantly Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.
It’s not known how many hippos are left across Africa, but during the past few decades the animal, has become increasingly threatened by hunting.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which monitors the conservation status of species, classifies hippos as vulnerable
because threats of illegal, unregulated trade in their teeth, demand for their meat, and habitat loss are likely to continue. In 2008, the IUCN estimated their continent-wide numbers to be between 125,000 and 148,000. Since then thousands have been legally and illegally killed for the domestic and international trades.
During the past decade thousands of hippo skins have also been sourced for leather products, with the United States and Mexico among the main markets. And hundreds of hippo trophies, such as feet and heads from legal hunts, have been exported.
WWF Tanzania has been supporting the Anti-Poaching Unit in the Southern Tanzania in the form of resources where the suspects are said to have committed the crime.
Hippos are killed for their meat, skin and teeth which are said to be cheaper than elephants'