Five Tanzanians arrested after British pilot killed

President denounces killing of conservationist after his helicopter was shot down by elephant poachers.

    More than 30,000 elephants are killed for their tusks every year across Africa [AP]
    More than 30,000 elephants are killed for their tusks every year across Africa [AP]

    Tanzanian President John Magufuli has condemned the killing of a British conservationist after his helicopter was shot down while he chased poachers, saying five people were arrested.

    Roger Gower, 37, was killed when his helicopter took fire from poachers during a patrol last week of the Maswa Game Reserve in northern Tanzania, close to the world-famous Serengeti National Park.

    Gower, who worked for the Friedkin Conservation Fund, had been tracking poachers after spotting the carcasses of recently killed elephants.

    "This is a sad incident that must be strongly condemned," Magufuli said in a statement, ordering that all those involved should be "aggressively pursued and brought to justice".

    Five suspects were arrested and questioned by police.

    Magufuli vowed to boost efforts to protect wildlife.

    "I personally support the fight against poaching in our game reserves and national parks ... Let us join hands against the poachers," said Magufuli.


    READ MORE: Illegal ivory trade driven by China demand


    Gower's South African colleague, safari guide Nicky Bester, survived the helicopter crash.

    Pascal Shelutete, Tanzania's National Parks spokesman, said poachers can be "heavily armed with sophisticated military weaponry".

    Ivory is sought out for jewellery and decorative objects and much of it is smuggled to China, where many increasingly wealthy shoppers are buying ivory trinkets as a sign of financial success.

    It is estimated that more than 30,000 elephants are killed for their tusks every year across Africa.

     Poaching pushing African elephants into extinction

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.