HOIMA —A forest elephant has been found dead at the depleted side of Bugoma Forest— with conservationists suspecting that it got stuck in the mud near a river and died.
Joshua Mutale, a programmes officer for Water & Environment Media Network Uganda (WEMNET) said that the elephant whose carcass was found on Saturday morning was in search of a new sanctuary—running away from Bugoma Forest over increased human activities by Hoima Sugar.
He noted that the increased human activities in and around Bugoma Forest are making the forest elephants seek alternative paths from their known, usual paths.
“We strongly believe that this elephant met its death in the process of searching for a much safer place after it’s original home was interefered with by the increased illegal Human activity in Bugoma forest by Hoima Sugar,” he said.
He added that elephants are not know to move aimlessly.
“They often use particular routes, one wonders why an elephant would get stuck in a route it has often used,” Mitala added.
He urged the leaders convert Bugoma Forest into a National Park to avoid such occurrences.
“Converting Bugoma into a National Park can earn Uganda trillions of shillings and also create millions of jobs as opposed to the damage caused by encroachers,” Mitala said.
A spokesperson of Uganda Wildlife Authority Bashir Hangi told media that they have started investigating the incident.
Bugoma forest is home to more than 34 species of mammals, including nine on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, including grey-cheeked mangabeys and 600 chimpanzees.
There are 255 species of birds and 260 species of trees.