Uganda’s oldest chimpanzee famously known as Zakayo was laid to rest last Saturday at Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Center ( UWEC) , Entebbe.
According to the Minster of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, Zakayo has been an Iconic species and very popular to both the general and international public. This he says has given Uganda, and the Ministry of Tourism at large, to use his legacy to drum up support to conserve chimpanzee in Uganda and other wildlife in general.
However, he used to this opportunity to call upon Ugandans to support conservation efforts in addressing conservation challenges such as poaching, illegal wildlife trade, trafficking, human wildlife conflicts, encroachment and climate change.
” All these negatively affect wildlife species survival prospects and the very reason why Zakayo left Semliki National Park ( Bundibugyo) and in unclear circumstances, and later found himself at Entebbe Zoo on 19th June 1976, where he lived for 42 years” he said
The Minster applauded the UWEC Board, Management and Staff for the hard work in sustaining the Center and its programs over the years, emerging as a model institution for conservation Education in Uganda and the entire region.
” I thank the UWEC Board for the hard work they have done. However, I implore the Board to steer UWEC towards the continued implementation of the Tourism sector development policies, plans, and strategies aimed at unlocking the tourism potential.” he concludes
Zakayo has lived at Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Center (UWEC) in Entebbe for 42 years. He is survived by two wives Ruth and Aminah and one child Shaka. According to UWEC findings, Zakayo succumbed to chronic gastroenteritis (stomach flu).