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Four shoebill storks rescued, taken to Entebbe wildlife centre

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Three of the rescued shoebills at UWEC in Entebbe.

Three of the rescued shoebills at UWEC in Entebbe. PHOTO BY MARTIN SSEBUYIRA 

By Martin Ssebuyira

Posted  Wednesday, February 19   2014 at  08:00
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Entebbe Wild life authorities in Entebbe have rescued four shoebill storks from various places and taken them to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC), formerly Entebbe Zoo.

One of the birds was picked from near Mabamba wetland in Wakiso while the three were rescued from Kyere and Kapir village in Mbale from people who officials say intended to sell them off. The suspected smugglers, however, escaped arrest.

“We acted on a tip-off after the suspects attempted to sell off the birds to a white man who alerted UWA. They were, however, looking very weak,” Dr Abdulhameed Kateregga, the centre veterinary doctor told the Daily Monitor yesterday.

“The birds were highly habituated because they didn’t fear people meaning they had been confined in people’s homes for some time and were not fed well but we are going to start by putting them in quarantine,” he explained.

According to Dr Kateregga, the birds weigh between 4 and 7 kilograms and would be kept for conservation education and future shoebill breeding. Mr James Musinguzi, the centre Executive Director said that the shoebills are hunted by fishermen because they compete with them for fish and are good pets.

mssebuyira@ug.nationmedia.com