UWA Stunned As Game Poaching Escalates


cheapest geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>According to the Ishasha Sector warden in Queen Elizabeth Mr. Echodu Edyau, check homesteads neighbouring the parks that include Kameme, medical Kazinga and Rwanga all in Kihihi Sub County depend on game poaching which has seen a number of endangered wild life species being killed.

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Echodu observed that the two climbing lions recently killed in Kanungu district (in the whole of East Africa) are only found in Queen Elizabeth national park, Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park all in Uganda and in Tanzania.

“The two unique lion species were earning the country about $1m annually through foreign exchange and their death now puts the tourism industry at stake.”

Recently police in Kanungu district arrested 10 people suspected to have killed an elephant in Queen Elizabeth national park and selling its 50kg ivory worth $150,000 to unknown businessmen in Kasese district.

According to Kanungu District Police Commander, Edison Muhangi, the suspects, all residents of Kameme trading centre, were arrested from their homes by the Joint Force of the Tourism Police and Uganda Wild Life law enforcement team from Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The Warden in charge of Security and Intelligence at Queen Elizabeth national park headquarters at Katunguru in Kasese district, Haruna Kulu Kirya, told Chimpreports that the raid followed the suspected poisoning of a male adult elephant in the national park and the suspects made off with ivory.

Kirya noted that the intelligence and law enforcement teams mounted a hunt which led them to Kameme trading center where the suspects were found with hunting spears and animal skins on top of game meat.

According to the area LC3 Chairperson, Nelson Natukunda, every house hold has got spears and floaters to help them kill these animals.

The rate of killing protected animals in Uganda’s national parks by illegal hunters has escalated bringing fears that this would lead to extinction of the animals in a near future due to increasing demand for status symbols crafted out of ivory in Asian countries, particularly China.

According to Dr. Margret Driciru, the head of Research and Monitoring unit at Queen Elizabeth National Park, elephant population is still below that of the 1960s, but the slight increase followed the breeding of more elephants due to improved conservation interventions.

“About 20,000 elephants are scattered all over Uganda’s large parks such as Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, Tooro-Semuliki and Kidepo in the 1960s,” she added.


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