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DAR ES SALAAM, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Friday commended the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) for controlling elephants that raid farm crops and residential areas in the southern part of the east African nation.

A statement by the Prime Minister's Office said Majaliwa made the commendation after he was briefed by TAWIRI that it has managed to control four herds of elephants with a total of 82 of the animals.

Eblate Mjingo, TAWIRI director general, told the Prime Minister in Lindi region that the wildlife research institution has managed to collar elephants belonging to one of the four herds to enable game rangers to track stray elephants that raid farm crops and residential areas.

"Elephants in the remaining three groups of herds will be collared by Saturday," said Mjingo, adding that one of the groups has a herd of 50 elephants.

He said some elephants were wreaking havoc in Nachingwea district and one herd was in Liwale district in Lindi region.

Plans to collar the elephants were announced in July by the Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mary Masanja, after she visited some villages that had fallen victim to elephant attacks.

The collars include Global Positioning System (GPS) and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) tracking devices that are placed around an elephant's neck to monitor their movements and behavior as well as to assist with conservation actions. - Xinhua

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