By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
Over the weekend, news broke out that six lions were found dead in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Western Uganda.
In a statement released by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), “the carcasses of the lions were found on the evening of Friday, March 19, 2021, at Ishasha sector with most of their body parts missing. Eight dead vultures were also found at the scene which points to possible poisoning of the lions by unknown people.”
UWA has now offered a bounty of Shs10 million to any individual with information that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of the people behind the heinous act at Queen Elizabeth National Park.
“We urge the public to join us in this fight by giving us information in confidence so that the killers of our lions are brought to book. Conserving our wildlife resources is a duty for all Ugandans and we should all work together in fighting all forms of wildlife crime,” Bashir Hangi, head of UWA communications said in a statement.
This is not the first time that lions have been killed in Uganda. In 2018, 11 lions died after they were poisoned in the same park by surrounding communities who claimed they were killing their cattle.
According to UWA, has close to 400 lions, and 100 of them are kept in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The US Embassy in Uganda has condemned the killing of the lions in a tweet that reads, “We are saddened by the death of six lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park by alleged poisoning and stand with the Uganda Wildlife Authority in condemning the illegal killing of wildlife. United States biodiversity investments support UWA and the National Forestry Authority to reduce wildlife trafficking and find community-based solutions to poaching.”
We have learnt that UWA has already arrested four people in connection with the killings.
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