Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) says six lions were found dead in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The carcasses of the lions were found last evening at Ishasha sector with most of their body parts missing, according to UWA spokesperson Bashir Hangi.
Eight dead vultures were also found at the scene which points to possible poisoning of the lions by unknown people.
A team of investigators is on the ground and collaborating with police in Kanungu district in handling this matter.
“Given that some of the body parts of the lions are missing, we cannot rule out illegal wildlife trafficking,” said Hangi.
UWA strongly condemned the illegal killing of wildlife “because it does not only impact negatively on our tourism as a country, but also revenue generation which supports conservation and community work in our protected areas.”
Tourism has been a top foreign exchange earner to the country contributing almost 10% of GDP and 23% of the total foreign exports. Nature tourism has been contributing USD 1.6 billion to the economy and also contributes to the wellbeing of communities surrounding the wildlife protected areas.
Tourism revenue plays a critical role in improving the livelihoods of communities around the national parks. UWA give back 20% of gate entry fees to the communities neighbouring through the revenue sharing scheme.
In the last five years, a total of UGX 4,457,283,992= was shared with communities neighbouring Queen Elizabeth National Park to enhance their livelihoods.
The revenue sharing scheme is meant to strengthen partnerships between local communities, local governments and management of wildlife areas leading to sustainable management of wildlife resources in protected areas.
“Uganda Wildlife Authority assures the public that it shall continue to strengthen the protection of lions and other wildlife in Uganda and will pursue this matter to its logical conclusion,” said Hangi.
“Our national parks remain safe and attractive to visitors and we still have lions in Queen Elizabeth and other parks.”
Report: John Simplicious Gessa