Tuesday 9 February 2016

More arrests over shot down British helicopter pilot in Tanzania

At least five suspects have so far been arrested in connection with last weekend's incident in which a
British pilot Roger Gower (37) was killed. Mr Gower, 37, who was working for the Friedkin Conservation Fund, had been tracking elephant poachers.

Poachers armed with an assault rifle gunned down his helicopter which was patrolling the Maswa Game Reserve in Simiyu region on January 29th.

Roger Gower came to Tanzania about seven years ago and was piloting the helicopter on a mission to track poachers who had reportedly killed three large elephants.

Gower, 37, and a safari guide, Nicky Bester, were flying low to the ground. A bullet is understood to have passed through the floor of the helicopter, hitting Gower first in the leg then in the shoulder before exiting through the roof. He managed to land the helicopter before he died and his companion jumped free and hid from the poachers.

A source revealed that antipoaching operations have been intensified nationwide since the slaying of the British helicopter pilot, netting eight suspects and 21 rifles within the Selous Game Reserve in Mahenge District as well as the five locally.

The Friedkin Conservation Fund was quoted saying that among suspects arrested are members of a network providing illegal weapons and smuggling ivory.

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