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Tanzania drops Serengeti highway plan.

DODOMA, Tanzania, Rajab 22, 1432 H / Jun 24, 2011, SPA -- Tanzania said it has dropped controversial plans to build an asphalt road across Serengeti National Park amid concerns of its affect on wildlife, according to UPI.

The Tanzanian government had proposed a paved two-lane highway through the park to connect Lake Victoria with coastal ports, the BBC reported Friday.

Wildlife experts had warned that paving and expanding the route, currently a gravel road, could have a devastating effect on animals like wildebeest and zebra that regularly make long-distance migrations around the park.

Collisions between animals and traffic would be unavoidable, scientists said, warning the proposed road could bring the number of wildebeest in the park, estimated at about 1.3 million, down to 300,000.

Tanzania's Department of Natural Resources and Tourism said in a letter to the World Heritage Center in Pairs the 30-mile road across the park would remain gravel and would "continue to be managed mainly for tourism and administrative purposes, as it is now." The government is said to be considering an alternative route south of the park for a major trade highway.

--SPA 20:23 LOCAL TIME 17:23 GMT

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Publication:Saudi Press Agency (SPA)
Geographic Code:6TANZ
Date:Jun 24, 2011
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