The hunt for stray leopards that invaded Luweero has hit a snag due lack of trained staff and money at the district vermin control unit. The Luweero Vermin Control Officer, Geoffrey Ekanya, says that the residents petitioned his office over the matter, but under-staffing and lack of funds have hampered the efforts to hunt down and kill the animals.
The hunt for stray leopards that invaded Luweero has hit a snag due lack of trained staff and money at the district vermin control unit.
Last Friday, leopards invaded the villages of Nambere, Mazzi, Kitendere and Kyangabakama in Kamira Sub County in Luweero district and mauled two residents identified as Joseph Serwanga and Robert Sempa. The leopards, believed to have come from Kitendere Forest on the Luweero-Nakasongola border, also killed over 50 goats leaving locals in a state of panic.
The Luweero Vermin Control Officer, Geoffrey Ekanya, says that the residents petitioned his office over the matter, but due to under-staffing and lack of funds the operation to hunt and kill the animals has hit a snag.
Ekanya explains that they need over 10 million shillings to hire and facilitate staff to hunt for the leopards by use of guns but they have only 1.6 million which can do little. He adds that the unit also has only two vermin hunters who carry out the operations in Nakaseke and Luweero districts.
Ekanya adds that he petitioned the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to come to their rescue but received no response. He says that they have instead deployed their poorly facilitated workers but for four days now they have not got any clue over the whereabouts of the stray animals.
The Kamira sub county Chairperson, Livingstone Kategaya, says that the leopards are wounded after residents attempted to trap them. He says that the residents are no longer engaging in farming because they fear being mauled and the pupils are no longer going to school.
Goefrey Tebusweke, a local resident in the area, says that they have also suspended grazing their animals in the bushes.
Residents have asked UWA and Police to intervene and catch or kill the animals.
This comes just a day after UWA launched an operation to capture a leopard that escaped from Queen Elizabeth National Park almost a month ago and has been roaming in Kamaiba and Nyakabingo wards in Kasese Municipality.
According to the General Secretary of the Kamaiba cell, Rogers Bwambale, the leopard has so far eaten ten goats and killed several dogs during its night movements.
The UWA team led by Robinson Kato, together with local leaders in the affected areas, searched for the animal on Monday and Tuesday but in vain. Kato said on Tuesday, that the search would continue until the animal is captured and sent back to the Elizabeth National Park.
stray wild animals