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UWA: Uganda cuts down on elephant poaching

FILE PHOTO: Elephant in Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least one Elephant is killed in Uganda annually for ivory.  This is according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA.

John Makombo, the Director of conservation at UWA says that while poaching has decreased elephants still face threats from poachers, most of whom are foreign nationals.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Makombo said that 1,600 arrests have been made against poachers.

Last week, two Vietnamese were arrested by Uganda Revenue Authority operatives after they were found in possession of 262 pieces of ivory weighing 3299 kgs valued at 8.7 billion shillings. The duo was also found with Pangolin scales weighing 423.7 kgs worth 4.7 billion shillings.

According to Makombo, the decrease in poaching is attributed to a number of interventions like training of rangers, the introduction of the canine and smuggling unit and construction of electric fences around National Parks.

Ephraim Kamuntu, the Minister of Tourism said that poaching is a challenge facing the tourism sector and can only be curbed through international cooperation.

Data from UWA shows that in the last six years, over 18 tonnes of ivory have been seized at Entebbe International Airport and other Asian airports.

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