Uganda Wildlife Authority has revealed that six lions were on Friday killed by unknown people and most of their body parts cut off and taken.
The Nile Post earlier reported that an unspecified number of lions had been killed after suspected poisoning in the Ishasha sector in Southwestern Uganda.
However, the latest statement by the UWA spokesperson, Bashir Hangi has said that clues point to the poisoning of the animals by unknown people.
“The carcasses were found last evening 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,” Hangi said.
In 2018, a similar incident happened in the same park where 11 lions were found dead after being poisoned by locals after killing their cattle but the latest incident is quite different since it involved poaching after the animal parts including the heads and paws were taken.
Uganda Wildlife Authority said they can’t rule out illegal wildlife trafficking since some of the body parts are missing.
“UWA strongly condemns the illegal killing of wildlife because it doesn’t only impact negatively on our tourism as a country, but also revenue generation which supports conservation and community work in protected areas, “Hangi said.
He underscored the role played by tourism as a top foreign exchange earner to the country, contributing 10% of the GDP and 23% of the total foreign exports.
“Nature tourism has been contributing $1.6 billion to the economy and also contributes to the wellbeing of the communities surrounding the wildlife-protected areas. Tourism plays a critical role in improving the livelihoods of communities and in the last five years,shs4.5 billion has been shared with communities neighboring Queen Elizabeth National Park.”
UWA insists that killing the animals is akin to biting the finger that feeds you since local communities greatly benefit from the game park and the animals therein.
“Uganda Wildlife Authority assures the public that it shall continue to strengthen the protection of lions and other wildlife in Uganda and will pursue this matter to its logical conclusion as our national parks remain safe and attractive to visitors.”