An African lioness supposed to resemble the dead is pictured in 2013. Ariel Schalit / AP hides the caption
Ariel Schalit / AP
Ariel Schalit / AP
Conservationists and nature lovers mourn the loss of six lions that were found dead and dismembered in one of Uganda’s most famous national parks.
Dead vultures gave a clue.
A statement from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) said the big cats were found Friday night with “most of the body parts missing” in Queen Elizabeth National Park, with their carcasses surrounded by lifeless scavengers, “indicating possible animal poisoning Lions. ”
The UWA said it was “sad” about the gruesome case and could “not rule out the illegal trade in wild animals”.
The discovery is a devastating blow Officials say can negatively impact the country’s tourism sector, which is a top foreign currency earner for Uganda. Nature tourism adds $ 1.6 billion to the economy every year.
It’s not the first time lions have been caught in the country’s most popular national park. In 2018A pride of 11 lions, including eight cubs, was found dead, presumably poisoned. The suspicion then fell on farmers who denied any involvement but also expressed frustration at wildlife killing their cattle and damaging their crops.
In order to encourage farmers who live near nature reserves and parks to protect increasingly endangered wildlife, the Ugandan authorities are granting farmers 20% of the gate fees levied in national parks. The UWA says the revenue sharing system improves the livelihood of the local community and helps preserve protected areas.
An endangered species
According to Wildlife Conservation groupsThe illegal trade in wildlife, poachers and trophy hunters are contributing to the disappearance of lions on the African continent. Habitat loss, poor regulation of legal trade and climate change are also Drivers in their declining numbers.
About 20,000 lions still live in the wilds of Africa. a century ago there were 200,000 Lions, the largest big cat in Africa.
Lions are currently listed as “Endangered” on the “Red List” of threatened species compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Queen Elizabeth National Park It offers extensive savannas, crater lakes and forests and is home to around 600 species of birds and 95 mammals, including elephants, rhinos and leopards. It’s also a lion shelter, and the cats are one of the biggest tourist attractions.
The park is famous for having the largest population of tree climbing lionsand all the pride can be seen in trees. It is reported that the newly discovered mutilated lions had this particular trait of tree climbing.
According to a 2017 census of Uganda’s lion population, the number was 493, according to a nonprofit organization WildAid.
Almost half live in Queen Elizabeth National Park, where a team of investigators is on site, along with conservationists and police officers to investigate this latest grim attack on African wildlife.