Elephant poachers killed six animals in one month in the Queen Elizabeth Park (QEP) in Uganda last year. The reserve is best known for its tree climbing lions but has a diverse range of other animals, including hippos, and elephants.
The Reserve is known as one of the premier parks in the country, and it has spectacular crater lakes and volcanic geology. The Reserve sits west of the Capital, Kampala, on Lake Albert, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two towns border with the reserve, which make itvulnerable to human conflict and poaching issues.
Head of the Wildlife Authority in the QEP, Mr. Guma said at a year-end party, that there are problems with the Katunguru and Kahendero communities, who feel they have been dispossessed of tribal lands to make room for the Park. “”We are ready to negotiate with them”, he said.The Citizen paper quoted Guma as saying, “We have lost many elephantsfrom armed poaching”. He said that poachers are waging war against the park rangers.
Ugandan tourism is on the rise and Parks authorities are working hard to restore wildlife numbers that were devastated during the Uganda/Tanzania War in the late 1970’s which led to the downfall of one of the world’s infamous despotic dictators, Idi Amin.
Winston Churchill once described Uganda as the “Pearl of Africa,” for its beauty. The country is spectacular and biomes are diverse. From the Rwenzori Mountains to Lake Victoria visitors can find mountain gorillas, fantastic birdlife, chimpanzees and incredible landscapes.
In the fight for their wildlife, rangers have lost their lives and as poaching pressure increased, President Museveni directed Parks officials to shoot poachers on sight. Police, District Commissioners, Parks and other security forces met to discuss a joint operation to control the poaching in the country.