The Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources in Tanzania has suspended four top officials and 28 game rangers following the killing of a rhino and her calf in the Serengeti National Park, according to a report by allafrica.com.
The Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, Khamis Kagasheki, said he believed there was collusion between poachers and the rangers in the crime.
The four top officials who have been suspended from duty with immediate effect are the Acting Director of Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA), Justine Hando, the Head of Intelligence at TANAPA, Emily Kisamo, the Chief Park Warden in Serengeti, Mtango Mtahiko and Faru Project Coordinator Mafuru Nyama.
The killing of the rhino and her calf occurred last month and the event went unnoticed by the rangers for several days.
“There is no way that two of the most endangered species in the country would be killed without these rangers noticing something amiss,” said Kagasheki.
“We only learned of the killings from the media. They remained quiet, and that is why I believe that circumstantial evidence points to the fact that they might have teamed up with the poachers,” he explained.
Kagasheki said that apart from those suspended from work, pending investigations, the police were also holding five suspects in connection with the killings.