UWA probes death of three lionesses near Queen Elizabeth National Park

It is alleged that the lionesses were electrocuted after two of them were found stuck in in the Irungu Hotel electric fence. PHOTOS/ COURTESY 

What you need to know:

  • It is alleged that the lionesses were electrocuted after two of them were found stuck in in the Irungu Hotel electric fence.
  • In March 2021, six lions were found dead at Ishasha sector, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kanungu District in suspected poisoning according to UWA.

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is investigating circumstances under which three lionesses died near Queen Elizabeth National Park.

One adult and two sub adult lionesses were Tuesday morning found dead at Kigabu Village in Katunguru, Rubirizi District.

It is alleged that the lionesses were electrocuted after two of them were found stuck in in the Irungu Hotel electric fence.

In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, the authority's communication manager, Mr Bashir Hangi said "much as the actual cause of death is yet to be established, we suspect electrocution."

"A postmortem on the dead lionesses will be done to confirm their actual death and the public will be informed about the outcome," he added.

Mr Hangi said Rubirizi police were informed and that detectives have already visited the scene of the incident to aid investigations.

Today’s incident brings the total number of lions lost at Queen Elizabeth National Park to eight -in slightly over a year.

Related incident 

In March 2021, six lions were found dead at Ishasha sector, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kanungu District in suspected poisoning according to UWA.

UWA officials said at the time that the six lion carcasses were found with most of their parts missing. Eight dead vultures were also found at the scene, which pointed to possible poisoning.

Days later, four people were arrested after UWA placed a Shs10 million bounty on the suspected killers.

The suspects, who included a 68-year-old, were arrested on March 22, 2021 during a joint night operation mounted by UWA, UPDF and Police in Kihihi Sub-county, Kanungu District.

Stray lion killed

Early this month, residents of Kobushera and Rwabaragi villages, Rwabaragi parish, Mpeefu Sub County in Kagadi District killed a stray lion and shared its meat. The lion that had invaded the villages and injured several people, was shot dead by a UPDF soldier, according to UWA.

According to a Uganda Wildlife Trafficking Assessment report released in 2018, Uganda was identified as one of the common transits of wildlife products in the Central and East African regions.

Poaching cases double 

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) last year reported that poaching cases doubled during the lockdown which was put up as a way to avoid the spread of Covid-19. 

This has been a devastating blow to the tourism industry. Between February and June last year, 367 poaching cases were recorded across the country which is higher than 163 cases recorded during the same period in 2019.


Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.