An animal sanctuary is a place where animals, are brought to be kept and protected for the rest of their lives. As the name suggests, the place needs to be peaceful, well preserved for them to be settled in comfortably, and protected.
This is possibly what all the stakeholders of the Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary, including the government, Zziwa Ranchers and Rhino Fund Uganda had in mind when it was created. As the article in Daily Monitor of April 26 showed, in the article, Inside the fight to control Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the place grew in leaps and bounds after its creation in 2002. However, the story around the sanctuary is now a sad one with a fight over management of the place.
According to the Uganda Wildlife Authority website, Uganda has a number of sanctuaries including, Entebbe Wildlife Sanctuary (commonly known as Entebbe Zoo); Ngamba Island, and Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary. The sanctuaries have been in existence for many years, for example Ngamba that was created in 1998.
Apart from taking care of animals on the verge of extinction, the other reasons that sanctuaries are created include taking care of orphaned or abandoned animals, or those that have been abused and neglected.
This form of wildlife conservation is important because it takes care of animals and plants that humanity has forgotten. As such Ugandans should interest themselves in these sanctuaries to ensure they are well-sustained, not only to keep the animals alive and well, but to improve on our tourism features.
Taking care of all kinds of wildlife helps ensure the earth’s ecosystem is maintained and our lives are better for it, because as science shows, once an ecosystem stays the way it is supposed to, we have better living conditions.
When parts of the ecosystem are destroyed, however, things change for the worse. Food is harder to produce, disease is more difficult to deal with and living becomes hard work.
It is in this light that we hope the warring parties over the Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary can come to a mutual agreement to sustain the life of the rhinos, and in a way that keeps the animals safe. We also hope the terms of the sustenance of other sanctuaries in the country have been well-documented and abided by in order to avoid similar problems.