ENTEBBE — A renegade Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) lion was put out of action in a freak accident.
The male lion, Letaba, was killed on the weekend.
The UWEC team had traveled to Fort Portal with wild animals a few days prior to carry out a Conservation Education Program during the 24th coronation anniversary celebrations known as “Empango” of Rukirabasaija Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, King of Toro Kingdom.
The Outreach Conservation Education Officer who led the team for this activity reported that on their way back from Fort Portal city in a Kalenga village in the Mubende district, the truck that was transporting the animals swerved off the road leading to the collision of animal crates. In the process, the lion escaped from his crate to a nearby community animal farm.
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) rangers, Uganda Police, and community leaders were alerted and immediately joined the UWEC staff to search for the lion in a joint effort.
The lion was later on cited in the community at round 7:00 am, highly charged and had already killed 3 pigs and injured 1 cow.
The veterinary doctor tried in vain to dart him to put him to sleep, and since he had become highly agitated, dangerous, and threatening to human life, a painful decision was made after consultations to put him out of action at 9:00 am.
The carcass of the lion was transported back to UWEC for postmortem.
A detailed report of the postmortem will be made and shared with responsible authorities.
A press statement by James Musinguzi, Executive Director of UWEC, reads in part: “It is a very sad situation on the side of UWEC losing one of our iconic animal species and an ambassador of conservation education in Uganda.
“We, therefore, appreciate the great collaboration of the Uganda police, UWA rangers, community leaders and members who greatly provided support in this operation. We thank God that no human lives were lost in this incident.”
Letaba was 10 years old at the time of his death.