Drones Will Be Deployed To Keep Elephants Safe From Poachers

Anti-poaching has become the main focus for the new government and in the new initiative it is reported drones too will be used in Tarangire National Park, the custodian of all sixteen parks in Tanzania.

A trial deployment of the drone was successful over Mkomanzi National Park and with this the Ministry of Tourism has now given a nod to its use for anti-poaching.

Tourism Permanent Secretary said the ministry has authorized the proof of concept to go ahead.

However, the initiative has an obstacle as Tanzania National Parks Authority (Tanapa) said the 2014 ban on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the parks still exists.

A statement released by Tanapa cites the ban of November 6, 2014, that says UAVs use is not allowed due to security reasons in the national parks.

Tarangire National Park is spread in an area of 2,600 square kilometers and it houses large herds of elephants.

Super Bat DA 50 will be deployed in the park along with the required ground equipment for six months to provide real time information. Tanzanian start-up Bathawk Recon is to carry out the operation and Tanzania People’s Defence Force will accompany the deployed stations of the drone.

Bathawk Recon director Mike Chambers said, “We have selected the Super Bat DA-50 in the six-month operation that will include, a fully functioning operation, trained operational personnel and a ranger protocol programme.”

Chambers added the drone has day as well as night capability and hence surveillance is possible at any time.

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