11 lions killed in Queen Elizabeth National Park

By Benjamin Jumbe.

A pride of lions, 11 in number have been found dead at Hamkungu fishing village, an enclave of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

This comes just a month after the country marked the UN World Wildlife Day Celebrations under the national theme: “Creating a safe environment for the survival of big cats”.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority communications manager Bashir Hangi confirmed the incident.

“It is true we lost a pride, three mothers and eight young ones, that brings the total to 11 in a fishing village called Hamukungu,” Hangi said.

He adds that the authority suspects they were poisoned but investigations will establish the actual cause.

“We are suspecting poisoning. The information we have is that they attacked someone’s cows but we are yet to establish who exactly,” Mr Hangi said.

The commissioner wildlife conservation, in the ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Dr Akankwasah Barirega confirmed that preliminary observations point to poisoning with investigations underway.

“We have commissioned investigations and we shall use the evidence gathered to prosecute and if convicted decisively punish the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” Dr Barirega said.

Conservationists have expressed concern over the declining number of lions in the country with current estimations putting the lion population at slightly above 400 across the country.