3 animals killed in less than a week in Murchison Falls National Park

People gather around a carcass of a hippopotamus that was knocked dead in Murchison Falls (Kabaleega) National Park in Nwoya District on Monday, February, 8, 2021. (Courtesy photo).

Three animals have so far been knocked dead by reckless drivers in Murchison Falls (Kabaleega) National Game Park in less than a week in Nwoya District.

According to Mr Bashir Hangi, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) spokesman, a hippopotamus was knocked dead by a speeding vehicle registration number UBA 724 H at Te-okot valley, about 10 kilometres from Pakwach Bridge in Murchison National Game Park along Pakwach- Karuma Highway on Monday morning.

The valley that located three metres from the main road harbours dozens of hippopotami.

Two antelopes were also knocked dead by yet to be identified vehicles at Latoro Village, Got -apwoyo Sub-county in Nwoya District on Wednesday, Mr Hangi added.

Mr Hangi said though the drivers are still at large, the police and UWA are looking for them.

The UWA publicist wondered that although the signage on roads in the park restricts the speed limit 40 kilometres per hour, most drivers ignore it driving beyond 100 kilometres per hour. This results in knocking the animals as they attempt to cross the roads searching for water and pasture.
“We lose wild animals and human beings at the gazetted areas due to over speeding of some drivers. People forget that they are supposed to drive at a maximum speed of 40 kilometres per hour.”

Mr Hangi said once arrested, the errant and fugitive drivers shall be charged in courts of law to deter others from committing similar offences.

The Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson, Jimmy Patrick Okema, condemned the act of reckless driving, urging UWA to apprehend and prosecute such drivers.

The law

Section 59 (1&3) of the Uganda Wildlife Act of 2019, a person who kills a wild animal through accident or error shall report to an officer and shall where possible hand over the carcass or part of the carcass as the officer may direct and that a person who contravenes the section commits an offence. 

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