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Baby elephant rescued from island

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UWEC veterinary officer  Barbra Alapo ( R)and Mr Egawu bottlefeeds the baby elephant at the centre yesterday.

UWEC veterinary officer Barbra Alapo ( R)and Mr Egawu bottlefeeds the baby elephant at the centre yesterday. PHOTO BY MARTIN SSEBUYIRA 

By Martin Ssebuyira

Posted  Thursday, June 16   2011 at  00:00
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The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has rescued a two-month-old male baby elephant abandoned at Hamukungu Island on Lake George, near Katunguru trading centre in Kasese District.

The elephant named Charles Hamukungu after the fisherman who picked it and the island it was rescued from, was left behind by an elephant family from Queen Elizabeth National Park after fracturing its leg.

“He carried it in the boat to Hamukungu landing site and we called UWA rangers who carried it to UWA ranger post at Katunguru where they have been looking after it for two months,” Mr Alex Egawu, an animal caretaker, who has looked after the elephant at Katunguru, said.

He said the baby elephant received treatment from Dr Margaret Driciru, a veterinary doctor, while at Katunguru, adding that UWA officials resolved to take it to the Uganda Wildlife Educational Centre (UWEC) in Entebbe.

UWEC spokesperson Belinda Atim said the animal is in a healthy condition. The centre’s boss, Mr James Musinguzi, said the animal takes about two litres of milk per meal.

“It has four meals a day as its still under the quarantine for one month,” Mr Musinguzi said, adding that they will prepare it a new home in a natural environment where people can get education about elephants.

Mr Musinguzi said: “We recently rescued 220 parrots and feeding them costs Shs300,000 a day. This is quite expensive. We call upon stakeholders to join the struggle to conserve the endangered species.”