Environment

Rubirizi: Man Arrested With 15Kg Hippo Teeth

Seka Hussein, the suspect in custody

Police in Rubirizi is holding a 38 year old man who was arrested in possession of 15 kilograms of hippopotamus teeth.

Seka Hussein, site http://copperking.co.zw/templates/gck_store/css/s5_vertex_addons.php 38, capsule http://cowlitzfamilyhealth.org/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-ms-sites-list-table.php was arrested on Sunday by the Police in collaboration with  officials from Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN) after he was found with 32 pieces of hippopotamus teeth that weighed 15 kilograms.

Hussein, a businessman from Kasese town is currently being detained at Rubirizi Police Station on charges of engagement in illegal wildlife trade as he was found while in possession of protected animal species contrary to Section 75 of the Uganda Wildlife Authority Act.

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According to Robinah Birungi, the OCCID for Rubirizi Police, the suspect was arrested in Katunguru town as he was transporting the trophies to Rubirizi where he claims, there was a businessman who was waiting for the animal cargo ready to transact business.

“The suspect is a businessman in Kasese District. He claims to have got the hippopotamus teeth from the Democratic of Congo-Uganda border and that he acts as a middleman. We are through with our investigations and we are going to take him to court,” Birungi said on phone.

She further revealed that the suspect, while in custody told police that he was operating on behalf of another man whose identity he declined to reveal.

The pieces of Hippo teeth thatwere recovered

The pieces of Hippo teeth thatwere recovered

Julius Odeke the Head of Media Relations with NRCN, a Non-Governmental Organisation that deals in the conservation of endangered animal species, says cases of animal trafficking have of recent increased as compared to the past.

“It is government top officials who are behind the illicit trade but they tend to use the poor people to transact the illegal animal trade on their behalf,” he says.

Odeke notes that there is need to sensitise the general public on the dangers of engaging in this kind of trade that is against the laws of the country and also the need to conserve wildlife which he says attracts many tourists to our country.

The number of visitors to Uganda rose by 17 per cent in the 2015 financial year over the previous year of 2014.

More than one million tourists visit Uganda annually, with 61,000 visiting game parks, followed by students from Uganda at 42,000.

Traditionally, poaching is the illegal hunting and killing or capturing of wild animals in violation of the laws of the country.

It is different from hunting as hunting refers to harvesting of wildlife within the law. While wildlife trafficking is the illegal, trade in wildlife (dead or alive) and wildlife products.

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