By Baluku Alex and Basighalha Zalimon
A stray hippopotamus from the Queen Elizabeth National Park has been killed in Saluti B, Kanyangeya Ward in Kasese Municipality. The hippopotamus had strayed into the community and was subsequently injured by the residents and later shot by officials from Uganda Wildlife Authority officials.
UWA then selected a team of seven energetic men to slaughter the wild beast but during the process police and the game rangers used canes to chase away the crowds of people who had thronged the area who had wanted to grab the meat.
No sooner had the seven men finished slaughtering the hippopotamus than UWA officials led by Alice Natukunda, the Community Conservation Warden for the Rwenzori Mountains National Park under the protection police ordered that the whole meat be loaded on a UWA pickup registration number UBE 330H. However this did not go well with the residents, they remained disappointed with UWA.
Jockus Kipako, who was the chief slaughter, expressed disappointment while speaking to the press. According to him, it took them four hours to slaughter the wild beast.
Kipako emphasized that his team would not accept the money from UWA officials to buy another meat because they wanted to taste the exact meat that they had participated in its slaughter.
He added that, before it was killed, the hippopotamus had destroyed latrines and a number of kitchens in the area the reason it would be given to locals to eat. Kipako quickly asked UWA to tighten its belts to protect the wild animals from straying into the community.
Janet Mbambu, the Local Council I Chairperson for Saluti B says appeals to UWA to compensate the residents for the loss injured during the incident.
Margret Mbambu, another resident, questioned why UWA has not extended an electric wire fence to the area to prevent wild animals from straying into the community.
According to Alice Natukunda, the Community Conservation Warden for the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, condemned the act arguing that it had caused a big loss to the government. She said that plans to have the electric wire fence erected around the park were in high gears.
Natukunda also challenged the locals to learn how to live in harmony with the wild animals from the Park. She said that getting to know the wild beasts and their habits can help the locals to hormonally live with them.