The elephant population in the 56,000 Selous Game reserve has been reduced by half within the last ten years because of poaching, an official of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, said in Dar as Salaam recently, According to an aerial survey and ground count conducted in October 1986 the elephant population has been reduced from 110,000 in 1977 to just over 55,000 last year. The count also showed 11,390 elephant carcases at the time of the census.

Meanwhile the rhino situation in Selous is even worse. The census showed that the rhinoceros population had gone down from about 400 in 1977 to about 50 last year.

The rhinoceros, one of the most endangered species in the world is being hunted for its horn which is sold at Shs 100,000 per kilo in the Middle and Far East to make daggers or as an aphrodisiac. If this disastrous situation continues, the official warned, we will reach a situation where the animals will not be able to breed because they will be so far apart – Daily News

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