Tanzania Deploys Ghost Motorbikes to Haunt Poachers Within Wildlife Corridors
Stealth Motorbikes, powered by the Sun are not only environmentally friendly, but their silent movements may come in handy when ambushing illegal hunters
Tanzanian Conservationists, through the Chemchem Association of Manyara, is importing six phantom motorcycles to boost anti-poaching drive.
The first six trial ‘ghost,’ motorcycles to be imported into the country at the cost of USD 72,000, will be deployed to patrol around the Kwakuchinja and Mswakini Wildlife Corridors.
The motorbikes are described as ‘Phantom’ because they move on stealth motion, needing no refueling.
“These are solar powered vehicles, complete with own sun rays trapping panels, self recharging battery packs and wheels that can traverse rough terrains,” reveals Hamisi Gyori.
Gyori is the Program Manager at the Chemchem Association who formerly worked for the state-run, Tanzania Forest Services (TFS) in Babati District.
He explains that the Chemchem Association’s approach in environment protection is through ‘Community Involvement in Conservation,’ where local residents are empowered to safeguard resources.
“We are working closely with ten villages through their Wildlife Management Area,” the officer maintains.
The Burunge Wildlife Management Area covers 283 square kilometers of mostly wildlife corridors of Kwakuchinja and Mswakini.
The area is passageway linking Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, with Lake Burunge in between.
Poachers still strike through the corridors and many are using motorcycles to drive into the conservation areas as well as carrying weapons and the illegally acquired trophies after their hunting sprees.
Benson Mwaise is the Secretary of the Burunge WMA. He admits that influx of local motorcycle riders fuel illegal hunting activities.
Mwaise told members of the Journalists’ Environmental Association of Tanzania that poachers use water containers to carry game meat extracted from the illegally killed animals.
“There are many ordinary motorcycles cruising around Mdori, Magugu and Babati areas with water containers but some of them smuggle wildlife trophies,” explains the WMA officer.