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Tanzania: ‘Hunted Largest Crocodile to Promote Tourism’

THE Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA) has said the recently hunted largest crocodile will contribute to promoting the country’s tourism abroad, hence attracting more tourists.

The authority is upbeat that the news of the largest crocodile hunted in Tanzania by American couple Josh and Sarah Bowmar is yet another spice in the efforts to make the country’s tourist attractions more visible.

The couple claimed to have hunted a world record crocodile.

“Since many crocodile hunters use them as decorations and a source of pride in their homes, this sparks enthusiasm for others to come for tourism and hunting in the country,” explained TAWA’s Communication Officer (CIO), Beatus Maganja during an exclusive phone interview with the ‘Daily News’.

He mentioned that TAWA continues to benefit from crocodile hunters and other tourists who become excellent ambassadors by praising and promoting the locations where they engaged in crocodile hunting.

He emphasised the significant impact of wildlife hunting, including crocodiles, on the nation and the communities surrounding the hunting areas.

“…hunters pay various fees, receive services from tourist hotels, leading to substantial revenue for the nation and hotel owners,” stated Mr Maganja.

He further mentioned that a part of the revenue generated from hunting benefits the local communities around the tourism and hunting areas.

“25 per cent of the tourism-related income is distributed to the councils where tourism, hunting, and wildlife activities take place,” Maganja explained.

He emphasised the importance of citizens understanding that wildlife tourism and hunting, including crocodiles, have considerable benefits for both individuals and the nation as a whole.

Additionally, the CIO stated that hunting helps mitigate the challenges posed by dangerous wildlife and occasional wild animals invasion that affect the communities, including killings and damage of properties.

“Hunting significantly reduces damage and addresses the community’s safety challenges. Sometimes residents face the threat of crocodiles injuring or attacking people, or certain animals causing inconvenience to citizens,” Maganja emphasised.

Responding to a question about how hunters utilise the hunted crocodiles, he mentioned that many hunters use the trophies for sports and prestige.

“Many hunters use crocodiles as prestige, exhibitions and decorations in their home gardens…they use them as pride, especially when telling others that they hunted it in Africa,” explained Maganja.

He was elaborating on how crocodile hunting can be used to attract and boost tourism, following the authority’s investigation on social media report about the hunted largest crocodile.

The authority released the report during a press conference yesterday in Morogoro.

The purpose of the press conference was to clarify whether proper procedures were followed in the hunting process of the crocodile, believed to be large and possibly breaking records.

Part of TAWA’s press release stated that the hunted crocodile adhered to all national and international legal requirements.

“Hunting activities, including crocodile hunting in the country, are legal and are overseen by both domestic and international laws through the Convention on Trade and Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),” read part of the press release.

According to CITES, Tanzania is allowed to hunt no more than 1600 crocodiles per year.

The press release specified that the hunted crocodile had a length of 493.4 centimetres and was hunted in the Lake Rukwa Game Reserve under permit number MP-0001792.

The press release further stated that crocodiles with a length below 300 centimetres are not allowed to be hunted.

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