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Stray lion triggers panic among residents in Kitgum

Kitgum, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Residents of Matidi and Mucwini sub counties in Kitgum district are living in a panic because of a stray lion reported to be marauding in their area.

The panic started four days ago after area residents discovered a carcass of a cow and footmarks of a lion in Lagot, Pajong Parish, Mucwini sub-county.

Michael Opwonya, a resident of Mucwini sub-county said the lion is suspected to have come from Lipan, a wilderness where locals have been hunting from time immemorial. Opwonya said people are afraid that the beast might return to the area to wreak more havoc.

Constant Odongtoo Odur, the vice chairperson of Mucwini sub-county said he received reports that the lion was also cited in Moya village, Pajong Parish. Odur said the lion killed two cattle, ate one, and hid the second one, before heading to Kitgum Matidi, the next sub-county.

Thomas Lapyem, the LCIII chairperson of Kitgum sub-county confirmed that the lion’s footprints were last week seen in Aputubere village, Paibony Parish, although there were no reports of attacks on livestock. Lapyem, however, added that last night, the lion also scared animals in the same area, and this morning its footprints were traced up to Arorii wilderness, where it is suspected to be hiding.

Samuel Amanya, the chief warden of Kidepo Valley National Game Park, told Uganda Radio Network that he has not yet received reports about the stray lion, but promised that they would immediately follow up on the matter.

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