Over 3,000 cattle seized in Tanzania's southern national park in 11 days

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DAR ES SALAAM, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- At least 3,492 cattle that encroached on Tanzania's southern Ruaha National Park have been seized by authorities in 11 days, a senior wildlife conservation official said Tuesday.

Godwell Ole Meing'ataki, the assistant conservation commissioner and commanding officer for the Ruaha National Park, said the cattle were seized in a special crackdown that began on Sept. 14 and through Sept. 24.

"The crackdown on livestock that encroach the national park will be continuous until all domestic animals are removed," Ole Meing'ataki told Xinhua by phone, adding that the crackdown is being conducted by game rangers in collaboration with the police.

He said most of the cattle were found grazing in the Ihefu wetlands that form part of the Ruaha National Park.

He said owners of the cattle were ordered to remove their animals after they paid fines.

Ole Meing'ataki said wildlife conservation laws prohibited grazing of cattle in national parks or any other human activities.

The cattle were destroying the wetlands that are the main source of water for the Great Ruaha River that flows into the Ruaha National Park, he said.

"The cattle are also destroying natural vegetation which is crucial for the conservation of water," said Ole Meing'ataki.

The Ruaha National Park covers an area of 20,226 square kilometers, making it one of the largest national parks in Africa. Enditem

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