Three Rangers Held Over Dead Elephant

2141 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
A group of three game rangers attached to the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National park have been arrested in connection with death of an elephant. It is believed that they shot the elephant over the weekend.

A group of three game rangers attached to the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National park have been arrested in connection with death of an elephant.
 
Those arrested are Dan Mbabazi, Herbert Natukunda and Justus Katusi all from Kameme village in Kihihi sub county,Kanungu District.
 
They are suspected to have been behind the shooting of an elephant from the same sector over the weekend.
 
They were arrested in a joint operation conducted by the Uganda Tourism Police and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials on Monday.
 
An AK 47 machine gun and 180 rounds of ammunitions were also recovered from the area.
 
Edward Musasizi the officer in charge of the Criminal investigations department in Kanungu District says that the trio faces charges of poaching and illegal Possession of firearms.
 
Kigezi region regional Police spokesperson Elly Maate confirmed the arrests. Maate said that poachers pose a risk not just to the animals but human beings as well.
 
Poaching is common in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth with locals targeting animals for wild meat.
 
On the June 2,  2014 a group of three locals who included Vicensio Kabinduma (38) from Matanda and Bendera Ruteikaza (30) from Kikarwa village in Bwambara Sub County, Rukungiri District were arrested in Kanungu with wild meat.
 
 Elephants in Queen Elizabeth National Park are threatened as poachers intensify the hunt for ivory tusks whose demand has increased on the local and international markets.
 
At least 15 elephants were killed in 2012 and ivory tusks extracted from their carcasses in Queen Elizabeth National park alone according to UWA.
 
400 poachers were arrested in and around the park in 2012, prosecuted and the majority of them remanded in government prisons.
 
According to the UWA, it is estimated that 20 elephants were killed for their ivory across the country in 2010.
 
After a sharp fall in the number of elephants in Africa, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) banned the trade in ivory in 1989.
 
But in recent years poaching has increased across sub-Saharan Africa with criminal gangs slaughtering elephants for ivory markets in Asia and Uganda considered as a transit route for Ivory to Asia.

 

About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.