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Rhino population in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro crater rises above 50   

DAR ES SALAAM, (Xinhua) -- The population of endangered rhinos in northern Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has risen from 25 in 1977 to more than 50 in 2018, the NCA Chief Conservator Freddy Manongi said on Thursday.

Most of the rhinos were under 24-hour camera surveillance within the crater, an iconic site and a leading tourist destination in the East African country, Manongi told a news conference.

Manongi said the numbers of the highly endangered rhinos has increased due to reproduction and enhanced anti-poaching efforts.

“One of the rhinos under protection, named Fausta, is believed to be one of the oldest in the world. It is aged 54 years and has been put on a special care,” said the conservator.

The Ngorongoro crater, an amphitheater-like caldera, is currently home to rhinos re-introduced some years ago.

Statistics showed that the famous crater had a total of 108 rhinos in 1968, a figure that dropped sharply to 25 in 1977.

Re-introduction of the rhinos specifically in the crater began in the 1990s through the support of the international conservation bodies.


Tanzanian police arrest 13 over poisoning lions

ARUSHA, Tanzania, (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian police on Thursday said they had arrested 13 people in connection with the killing of nine lions by poisoning earlier this month near the Serengeti National Park.

Juma Ndaki, Mara Regional Police Commander, said investigations by the law enforcers showed that the suspects set up a trap using poisoned cow carcass on the lions’ crossing path.

Ndaki said preliminary investigations showed that the suspects conspired to kill the lions after being angered by the regular encroachment of the game animals into their farms.

Ndaki revealed that two suspects have already been taken to court to face charges while 11 others will be arraigned on later dates upon the completion of investigations.

The Serengeti national park and its nearby game reserves is home to lions and other wildlife species that attract hundreds of thousands of tourists annually, bringing millions of shillings in revenues.

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