Wild animals, especially hunted herbivores of Ngorongoro, have of late started to seek refuge within Maasai residential enclosures where they are reportedly feeling safer from carnivores.
The Ngorongoro Member of Parliament, Mr Saning’o Kaika Telele, said the incidences are another indication that the nomadic pastorals are good guardians of wildlife because the beasts feel safe to sleep near their enclosures. The Maasai residents living in Ngorongoro Conservation Area also admit this to be true.
“Zebras, antelopes and other animals that get hunted by lions and leopards so, they nowadays choose to graze amid the Maasai livestock and when the sun settles and the cattle are taken back home, the wild animals also tag along and sleep outside the cattle pens,” maintained Mr Telele.
The Ngorongoro legislator was addressing the newly trained rangers who were graduating at the Mbulu- Mbulu base, in Karatu District where he reinforced stand that Maasai people not only don’t kill or eat game meat but go outside their way to protect the latter.
“Lions don’t venture near Maasai bomas but again even illegal hunters will never dare go near a Maasai village and this automatically makes such residential areas safe haven for wildlife,” the Ngorongoro MP added.
And as poaching incidences continue to rock the country, another batch of wildlife rangers have just graduated from intense training under the former Chief of Police Operations, Commander Venance Tossi.
The platoon of 34 rangers, who were undergoing training at the Mbulu-Mbulu base in Karatu District within the Northern Highland Forest Reserve, complements a similar, but larger group of 180 wardens who passed-out last year making the total number of newly trained wildlife-soldiers to reach 214.
The new group also consists of 9 female rangers. “This year’s training took a more participatory approach because among the rangers recruited include ordinary members of the community from surrounding villages within the Mbulu- Mbulu Ward,” explained retired Commander Tossi.
The series of the warden training are being executed under the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority. According to the NCAA Manager of Conservation, Mr Amiyo T. Amiyo the efforts have helped his authority to apprehend about 45 poachers since the previous batch’s pass-out.
Mr Amiyo, however, pointed out that the efforts are being slowed down by lack of enough equipment including vehicles and modern weapons, not to mention technology that are needed to enhance operations.