TAWA launches probe on viral video clip on crocodile hunting

By Lake Zone Watch writer

The Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) has launched investigations to find out whether there is contravention of the country’s hunting laws following a video clip circulating in the social media that an American hunter, Josh Bowmer, had caught a world record monstrous crocodile measuring 16 feet three inches.

The video clip which went viral had caused public apprehension warranting detailed probe into the incident whether the said hunter had broken the laws of the land in wildlife hunting, a statement released by TAWA yesterday said.

“After the completion of the investigations, a full report would be issued on steps to be taken if it discovered that the country’s laws had been disregarded,” said the statement.

Tanzania, Africa’s premier trophy hunting safari destination, offers variety of huntable games varying from small ungulates to the largest herbivores of the earth.

However, tourist hunting is regulated by regulations connected to TAWA’s conservation strategy.

Like in other countries, tourism hunting is governed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of World Fauna and Flora (CITES) of which Tanzania is a party.

According to the TAWA statement, crocodiles are among the wildlife protected under CITES whose allowable annual harvest is 1,600 for 300-centimetre-long crocodiles.

Usually, skin tags are attached to the hunted crocodiles and export permits are used to transport their trophies, the TAWA statement explained.

“Under CITES, any person is allowed to engage in tourism hunting after getting a permit from TAWA after fulfilling all conditions. TAWA bears the responsibility of overseeing the hunting process at every stage,” the statement said.

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