Marauding elephants destroy over 400 hectares of crops in southern Tanzania

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DAR ES SALAAM, April 15 (Xinhua) -- At least 100 elephants have raided five villages in Tanzania's southern highlands over the past two weeks, destroying over 400 hectares of crops, officials said on Thursday.

The elephants from the nearby Ruaha National Park have destroyed farms planted with maize, paddy and round potatoes in five villages in Igava ward of Mbarali district in Mbeya region, said Gaitan Madindo, Igava ward executive officer.

Madindo said game rangers from the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) are helping to ward off the elephants before they conduct an assessment to establish the magnitude of damage caused by the wild animals.

Helen Mchati, an official from TANAPA who is coordinating the task of keeping off the elephants, said they will work round the clock to ensure that the animals are sent back to their habitats.

In February 2020, Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said the government has started deploying game rangers to the areas which suffer from raids by wild animals.

Majaliwa said the game rangers, through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, have already been deployed to villages in Ruvuma, Simiyu and Mara regions.

Majaliwa said the increasing attacks by wild animals on human settlements were due to a spike in wildlife population in national parks and game reserves following successful anti-poaching campaigns. Enditem

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