UWA BATTLES SOUTH SUDAN ELEPHANTS

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Staff of Uganda Wildlife Authority in Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA) are battling a herd of elephants that crossed from Nimule National Park in South Sudan last Friday into Uganda in the villages of Pagirinya and Mukoyoro in Adjumani District. The villages which lie in the wildlife corridor are remote and sparsely populated.

According to the MFCA Conservation Area Manager, Mr. Tom Okello Obong, wild animals especially elephants make a long trek from Sudan to Uganda and back in search of pasture and water Uganda every year. South Sudan is usually very dry around towards the end of the year, prompting the elephants to look for water and pasture down south.

Last week, the elephants again crossed into Uganda and when UWA was informed, the management of Murchison Falls Conservation Area immediately dispatched a group of rangers to drive the elephants away from people’s gardens. For several hours the rangers could not locate the elephants despite a concerted search for them. The rangers finally managed to make contact with the elephants on Sunday night. Efforts are now being made to drive them towards River Unyama where there are no communities.

Many parts of northern Uganda are remote and filled with bushes, which makes it easy for elephants to hide in the bushes. Gardens are far apart and surrounded by big bushes.

Uganda Wildlife Authority recommends that communities carry out cultivation near settled areas such as villages where there are people and very hard for elephants to go. It would also be good if the communities respected the wildlife corridors which have existed since time immemorial and are regularly used by the animals to search for water and pasture.

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