Four Poachers Arrested With Pangolins in Kitgum

2868 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
Patrick Okello Lumumba, the officer in charge of criminal intelligence and investigation says the men were marketing the pangolin at 50 Million Shillings. He says they will be charged for trading in wildlife contrary to section 30 of the Uganda Wildlife Act.

Three civilians and a police officer have been arrested in Kitgum district for poaching pangolins from Kidepo Valley National Park. They were arrested with two of the endangered animal species bundled in polyethylene material.

The suspects were identified as Mambo Patrick Aling, Denis Saidi Olara, Sam Okot and Richard Okidi - a police officer attached to the Anti-Stock Theft Unit- ASTU.  They told Police they trapped the animals using wire snares they set in the jungles.

Patrick Okello Lumumba, the officer in charge of criminal intelligence and investigation says the men were marketing the pangolin at 50 Million Shillings. He says they will be charged for trading in wildlife contrary to section 30 of the Uganda Wildlife Act.

The law prohibits unauthorized hunting, farming, general extraction, trading in wildlife and wildlife products and using wildlife for educational or scientific purposes. Okello says the four will be arraigned before court on Monday.
 
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Section 75(b) of the Wildlife Act prescribes a fine of not less than one million Shillings or imprisonment for a term of not more than five years or both when convicted.

Walter Odokorwot, the community conservation warden at Kidepo Valley National Park says the park has dispatched vehicles to rescue the animals from Police in Kitgum district. He says the stressed animals will be rehabilitated and released back into the wild.

According to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), up to 100,000 pangolins are estimated to be hunted and sold every year, making them the most traded wild animal in the world. Pangolin meat is a delicacy in Asian countries, while the pangolin scales are prized for traditional medicine.
 

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.