Poaching on rise at Lantoto National Park; ten elephants dead (South Sudan)


Radio Tamazuj

Date Published

Wildlife authorities in Yei River State say the rate of illegal
hunting of animal species at Lantoto National Game Park is on the
increase for the last few months.

The game park director colonel Natalino Lasuba said in the month of
June alone at least ten elephants as well as giraffes and zebras were
illegally killed by armed poachers.

“They killed about ten elephants,” he said.

He said the game park wardens have arrested some of the poachers who
are currently undergoing thorough investigation. The director also
said that such incidents are affecting the peaceful existence of
animals at the park.

“You know animals are like people and when there is continuous
presence of fighting and hunting down in the country, they tend to run
away in search of peaceful environment and I would like to inform you
that most of our valuable animal varieties are now migrating to the
neighbouring Garamba National game park of Congo,” he said.

The colonel also pointed to challenges facing the park rangers
including heavy rains, lack of logistical and communication equipment,
inadequate numbers, feeding, and clashes with armed poachers.

“Of recent we received information that some poachers entered into
Lantoto and killed ten elephants. These poachers went and wounded some
rangers in Congo and in response the Congolese soldiers wounded one of
them and captured rifles from them. Some suspects were arrested and
they are pending investigation,” he told Radio Tamazuj.

“The struggle for apprehending these poachers is still going on.”

Meanwhile a human rights and peace activist Dara Felix says peace and
stability will be the only solution to problems at the park. Dara said
when there is peace the population will concentrate on
self-empowerment in agriculture, other businesses, education and
development with less attention to trade in animal poaching.

“I would like to give you an example here — if you go to Uganda game
parks and zoos dangerous animals like lions are becoming friends to
human beings and birds can fly freely and stay together with people at
home because of the presence of peace and stability in that region,”
said Dara.

Lantoto is one of six national game parks in South Sudan. It is
located in Yei River County of Central Equatoria State. The park was
established in 1986 with an area size of 760 square kilometres
bordering Garamba National Game Park of the Democratic Republic of

The park has animal varieties which could be used for tourism and
attract researchers if they are well preserved.