2 Chimpanzees found dead near Bugoma Forest Reserve

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Two Chimpanzees were found dead at a village near Bugoma Forest Reserve in Kikuube District.

UWA spokesperson, Bashir Hangi has said that clues point to killing by unknown people arising from human anger since the dead animals were found to have gaping wounds suspected to be from spears.

The carcasses were found last evening at Kisaru near Kisaru Primary School by residents.

It is suspected that the chimpanzees had gone to look for food due to destruction of Bugoma forest by encroachers who have invaded their natural habitats exposing them to human attackers.

Mr Hangi said postmortem analysis will be carried out on the dead animals to establish the actual cause of death and an investigation to hunt for the culprits has already began.

Incidents of people killing animals yet they are tourism attractions and the tourism sector is a big revenue earner, have escalated of recent, arising from pressure exerted on their natural habitats for different reasons including settlement, agriculture, logging etc.

Due to deforestation, there has been a direct loss of wildlife habitats. The removal of trees and other types of vegetation reduces available food, shelter, and breeding habitats. Hangi said ,the Authority anticipates that such cases will continue to happen if the culture of people attacking animals’ habitats doesn’t stop.

Bugoma Forest, a natural reserve gazetted in 1932, has also been at the center of conflicts over ownership which has seen part of the forest cut putting animals at great danger of clashing with the population.

It is among the five biggest tropical rain forests in Uganda and a home to around 500 chimpanzees, baboons, foxes, primates, home to the red-flagged Nahant francolin birds and the forest elephants among other animals that have been sighted here.

Other incidents of killings are due to poaching for meat and other reasons including search for local medicine.

The most recent incident was in March this year when six lions were poisoned and found dead in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Their carcasses were found 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.

“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” Hangi said.

UWA insists that killing the animals is akin to biting the finger that feeds you since local communities greatly benefit from the protected reserves and parks and the animals therein.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. This is very sad indeed for conservation. Human-wildlife conflict continue to be a big problem in Uganda and Africa at large, this being worsened by the population explosion and thus, pressure on land. May the population around the protected areas learn to live harmoniously with the wildlife.

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