Uganda wildlife leaders call crisis meeting to investigate deaths of six lions

NEW DELHI, INDIA - MARCH 3: Lion at the National Zoological Park on World Wildlife Day on March 3, 2021 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Following the death of six climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park, security and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials have organised a meeting with the local leaders on Tuesday, to deliberate on measures to safeguard wild life.

The lions were found dead on Friday evening, about 500 metres on River Ishasha on the boundary of Uganda and DR Congo.

Kanungu deputy Resident District Commissioner, Mr Guard Rugaaju Ahimbisibwe on Sunday said they suspect that poison could have been used to kill the young female climbing lions.

‘Their heads, feet, tails, hearts and livers were cut off and taken’. Mr Rugaaju added that 10 vultures that fed on the carcasses died at the same spots.

“We urge all residents to stop killing the wild animals because they benefit the country through tourism. I have called for a meeting on Tuesday with local leaders from the sub-counties of Nyanga and Kihihi, and UWA staff to look into this matter and see how to safeguard the wildlife,” Mr Rugaaju said.

Village, parish and sub-county chairpersons and councillors in the two sub-counties are expected to attend the meeting.

“Kanungu District security committee has started investigation to establish how poachers managed to enter the very well protected area unnoticed,” Mr Rugaaju said.

Samples have been extracted from the carcasses of both lions and vultures by doctors and taken to Kampala for further examination.

(With input from Daily Monitor)