Endangered rhino numbers ‘soar by 1,000%’ in Tanzania after crackdown on poaching gangs

The number of endangered rhinos in Tanzania has risen by 1,000 per cent after a government crackdown on organised gangs guilty of industrial-scale poaching, officials claim.

And elephant populations have risen by nearly half in five years, thanks to a blitz on illegal ivory hunters, the president’s office said.

Four years ago the country, which has been described as “ground zero” of the poaching crisis, had just 15 rhinos, but a statement said the figure now was 167.

However, British wildlife experts were cautious, saying the rise in rhino numbers was likely to be down to imports, rather than breeding.

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli took a hard line on wildlife crime when he took office in 2015, urging security forces to arrest all those involved trafficking.

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