DAR ES SALAAM, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Poachers have resorted to using locally made guns and wire traps to kill animals in Tanzania's Saadani National Park located in Coast and Tanga regions along the Indian Ocean coastline, an official said on Thursday.
Gabriel Genda, the Chief of Security in the Saadani National Park, said 60 locally made guns were seized in a special operation conducted by the park authorities in April this year.
"During the operation, four factories for making guns were discovered," said Genda, adding that owners of the factories were facing court cases for manufacturing guns illegally.
The official told a meeting held in Tanga city to discuss strategies of enhancing security in the Saadani National Park which has seen an increase on the use of wire traps to catch animals, especially for game meat.
However, Genda said the park has been able to reduce poaching by 75 percent while grazing of livestock in the park has been reduced by almost 99 percent.
Martin Shigella, the Tanga Regional Commissioner, urged national parks across the country to strictly control movement of small aircraft in the parks to avoid smuggling of animals.
Steria Ndaga, the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) Commissioner for the Eastern Zone, called for the need to educate communities on the importance of conserving and protecting the Saadani National Park.
"Some members of the community still do not understand the reasons behind conservation," said Ndaga.
The official said TANAPA cannot protect the park singlehandedly without the full cooperation of government security agencies and communities.