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 shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    New information has come to light about thousands of mostly Yemeni children believed to have been abducted in the 1950s.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.