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UWA veterinary team rescues infant Gorilla hurt by poachers

UWA doctors have rescued a toddler Golirra. (PHOTO/Courtesy).

MGAHINGA – The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Veterinary team has on Monday, August 26, 2019, rescued and treated a young Gorilla named ‘Tulambule.

Tulambule hails from the Nyakagyezi Gorilla Group in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Western Uganda.

According to UWA’s Veterinary team, the young Gorilla was hurt by poachers.

Gorillas are a top tourist attraction in Uganda where tourists pay hundreds of dollars a day to track them through the dense forests.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reported that endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda are making a slow but steady comeback due to a decade of conservation efforts to counter the impact of war and poaching.

The global conservation group says that there are now 340 gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, which is home to nearly half the world’s mountain gorillas.

It said the number of gorillas represents a 12 percent growth over the past decade.

President Yoweri Museveni last month assented to the Uganda Wildlife Authority Bill 2017, which stipulates that people found guilty of trading in endangered species will be sentenced to life imprisonment.

The law also gives communities living at the periphery of Uganda National Parks a right to compensation for any damage to their property or lives that is induced by wild animals outside the Protected Areas.

Most exciting about the new law is a clause that stipulates the introduction of compensation for wildlife induced damage in communities outside the Protected Area (National Park). This means that whenever wildlife animals escape from their sanctuary and get into none protected areas where the community lives and cause substantial damage; such damage must be compensated according to stipulated guidelines.

Previously, Wildlife-induced damages outside the Protected Area that include loss of life; destruction of crops and domestic animals has not been compensated by UWA because it was not provided for in the existing laws. This has been a contentious issue between the community living near national parks and UWA authorities over a long time.

The new law also stipulates the introduction of heavy punishment for anyone found committing crimes involving wildlife endangered species. According to the law, anyone found guilty after committing a crime involving wildlife endangered species will be sentenced to a fine of not less than Ugx 20 billion or get life imprisonment or get both punishments depending on the gravity of the matter.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority Act 2019 also stipulates clearly community participation in Wildlife conservation by strengthening their management capacity through the community wildlife committees for each Protected Area.

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