At least seven people died and eight others fell ill after eating sea turtle meat on Tanzania’s Indian Ocean island of Mafia on Saturday night, an official said late Monday.

In this context, Juma Khatibu, head of the village of Buene on Mafia Island, the third largest island in Tanzania’s oceanic lands, said that the victims had bought sea turtle meat, suspected of being poisonous, from fishermen on Saturday evening, and ate it at night, reports Al-Rai daily quoting Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Khatibu added that the eight patients were transferred to the hospital, while their condition was described as stable.

It is worth noting that the Tanzanian government has banned the consumption of turtle meat for protection reasons, but some unscrupulous poachers are selling it illegally.

Last October, at least 3 people died and 74 others became ill after eating turtle meat suspected of being poisonous in the Lindi region in the south of the country.

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