By Waswa Tenywa
Uganda wildlife authority in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has started investigations into the death of 11 lions in Queen Elizabeth national park.
On 11th April 2018 news emerged that a pride of 11 lions (3 adult lionesses and 8 curbs) were killed at Hamukungu fishing villages in Queen Elizabeth national park.
Addressing the media at the headquarters of UWA in kamwokya a Kampala suburb, Sam Mwandha the authority’s Executive Director said according to their investigations the said lions could have been poisoned between 3rd and 8th Aril 2018.
Mwandha said the skeletons of the lions were discovered by a research assistant to the Uganda large predator ( cornivores) project who was tracking the same pride with tourists on experiential tourism.
He added that the UWA intelligence and investigations personnel are working closely with other relevant authorities and stakeholders including forensic experts from the government analytical laboratory to investigate the matter to its logical conclusion.
He adds that despite the lions loss, other lions have entered the ark from Tanzania and they have hope the number will increase.
Meanwhile Mwandha unveiled their intention to recruit over 500 rangers to help in protecting Uganda’s wildlife animals adding that the number had decreased as some died and some retired from 2013 when they last recruited.
He also clarified that there are no settlements in the national parks saying only fishing villages were put in place under law by government and that the fishing villages have boundaries.
He also says they have gone short of land as the number of animals increase every time but the land UWA has totals to 200000 sq2 which he says is not enough.
UWA is working closely with the ministry of tourism and antiquity to institute a law that will regulate the activities being carried out in the enclaves of national parks which are fishing grounds.