Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Uganda: Sport hunting of leopards, etc., to start in reserve

Uganda: Sport Hunting to Start in Karamoja

Daniel Edyegu
12 March 2009

Kampala — THE Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), is to introduce sport hunting in Pian-Upe wildlife reserve.

Sport hunting is the killing of wild animals for pleasure.

Edyau Echodu, the warden, said the sport would help to get rid of old animals that attack human settlements. The move, he added, was also aimed at increasing earnings from tourists.

Echodu was speaking to journalists at Magoro ranger outpost in Katakwi district on Sunday.

He said 75% of the proceeds generated from the sport and the game meat, would be given to the communities, while the horns, skins and hides would be for the participating tourist.

"This is a new approach to eradicate household poverty and encourage the communities to appreciate and protect wildlife. Shooting a leopard will cost sh8m, a buffalo sh4.5m, a hippo sh3.5m and a hyena sh400000," Echodu said.

Pian-Upe wildlife reserve was gazetted in 1964. The reserve covers 2,022sqkm and borders Nakapiripirit, Bukedea, Kapchorwa, Kumi and Katakwi districts.

Echodu said the authority had already entered an agreement with the leaders of Nakapiripirit and Kapchorwa to sensitise the local communities on the protection of wildlife. He said the community would help with the multiplication of the animal population in preparation for the sport.

Echodu added that some firms had expressed interest in constructing hotels in the reserve to accommodate tourists.

Meanwhile, hippos from Lake Opeta and Lake Bisina last week destroyed crops and killed cattle in Bukedea and Katakwi districts, prompting residents to demand compensation.

Edyau said no law provided for the compensation caused by wild animals.

"The deadliest form of wildlife is the female anopheles mosquito. How much would the Government spend if each patient suffering from malaria was compensated?" Echodu asked.

He noted that the hippos attacked the cattle because they were abandoned in the swamps at night when hippos come out to graze.



Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org

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