Is the Worst of Tanzania’s Elephant Crisis Over?
After announcing devastating elephant losses, a top Tanzanian minister says poaching is now on the decline.
The East African nation of Tanzania has been the main source of illegal ivory from savanna elephants for nearly a decade, according to a new DNA study of tusks from confiscated ivory shipments.
The country’s elephant population fell by 60 percent just in the past five years to around 43,000, according to a recent nationwide census. The census results were recently announced by Tanzania's minister of natural resources and tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu. (Read about how most of Tanzania's elephants are disappearing.)
Nyalandu drew praise for making such grim figures public even as he was seeking nomination as the ruling party’s next presidential candidate. (He didn’t make the shortlist.)
Yet the announcement also sparked ridicule.
Nyalandu characterized the survey results as