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UWA halts search for stray lions in Alebtong

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Alebtong, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) rangers have called off the search for two stray lions sighted in Alebtong and Otuke District.

Locals discovered a carcass of a cow and footmarks of what appears to be a lion and a cub. The lions are believed to have strayed from Kidepo Valley National Park.

The stray animal then moved to Owinyiru Village in Omoro Sub-County where it ate another cow before moving back towards the Swamp in Okuru Parish Adwir Sub-County where it is suspected to be hiding.

Last week, locals in Adwir Sub County, Alebtong district expressed concern after the lions killed cows in their area.

However, up to date, the team that has been searching for the lions from Alebtong to the neighboring Otuke district has failed to trace the lions. Last night, after a successful tracking and pinpointing of the location of the lions, a trap was set up using a goat donated by one of the locals.

Fredrick Kizza, the Chief Warden Mount Elgon blames the failed attempt on community interference during the operation.

He says that the rangers had been deployed to track, capture and translocate the lions to the park.

According to Kizza, UWA will compensate the people who have lost their animals to the lions saying it is the responsibility of the government to keep the animals safe and away from the community.

Richard Okullo, the LCI Chairperson of Alutkot Village, Angetta parish in Olilim sub-county is worried that the presence of the lions will cause hunger in the area because farmers are now scared to harvest their crops from the garden.

Jimmy Ocila, a goat farmer in Alunya village Olilim sub-county is worried that the lions will kill his goats. He wants the UWA team to expedite the search for the lions.

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