Several dead and apparently poached elephant had been found in a national forest reserve outside the Queen Elizabeth National Park, although staffs from the National Forest Authority and the Uganda Wildlife Authority appear to differ on the number. Be it as it may, whether there were 8 as claimed by NFA rangers or only 4 as claimed by UWA, the fact that poaching is happening even on that scale is alarming and unsettling, and if left unchecked could pose a growing threat to wildlife based tourism in the country.
Across Africa’s safari destinations have reports emerged that poaching of elephant, rhino and other species for ivory, trophies and skins, but even bones have hugely increased in the recent past, ostensibly driven by the greed and hunger in the Far East and South Asia, where governments do little to stop the trade by imposing new legislation on possession of illegally poached wildlife items from Africa.
Parts of Northern Uganda have of late been in the spotlight when information emerged on the soaring trade in ‘bush meat’ and thankfully the security organs working hand in hand with UWA enforcement and intelligence units made a number of arrests, but such news coming from the tourism hubs in the South West of the country must be ringing the alarm bells.
Several suspected poachers have been arrested by various security forces and are in custody while other cases are now pending in court undergoing prosecution or awaiting verdicts.
Compiled by Jackie