By Gabriel Buule
The chief commander of the police flying squad Mr. Muhangi Herbert has warned people against dealing in illegal wildlife trophies because it’s illegal and undermines the beauty of the country.
He said while addressing journalists at the Central Police Station in Kampala, following the arrest of a police constable and a teacher who were trading in illegal wildlife species.
The duo identified as Edemo Samuel, 30, a police officer at Kotido police station and Mungono Michael, 37, a teacher at Kotido Senior Secondary School, are residents of Kotido and Mbale respectively.
They had a lion’s skin and 12 kilograms of pangolin skins.
Mr. Edemo told NRCN they obtained the trophies from the Turkanas of Kenya and were coming to look for market in Uganda.
He further told said they were going to sell the skin at Sh2 million and pangolin scales at Sh70,000 per kilogram.
It should be noted that a lion’s skin on black market is approximately at $5,000, a factor that has led many Africans to surrender their lives into illegal trade.
Lions are struggling to survive in Africa. A century ago, there were some approximately 200,000 African lions prowling the savannah. Now, according to the last complete assessment in 2012, there were as few as 32,000 left, living on less than 20 percent of the land they used to roam.
This increased decline in the population of the wild animals in Ugandan and African game parks has greatly affected our economies since most of the foreign incomes is mostly got from the tourism sector, thus poaching is a serious setback.