Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials have deployed heavily in the South Western Uganda based Queen Elizabeth National Park to fight poaching that they say has worsened during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Pontius Ezuma, the Queen Elizabeth National Park Area Conservation Manager revealed this to the press after a group of locals from Kihiihi Sub County in Kanungu district were arrested for killing a one-month-old buffalo calf.

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According to a statement from the Park, the baby calf was hit by a ruthless trap that had been laid for its mother which the locals had targeted for meat, among other products.

“The poachers laid traps near our Bukorwe Sector headquarters in Kihiihi sub-county Kanungu district.” Mr Ezuma said.

There was reportedly a loud noise from the dejected mother bufallo that was mourning the death of her calf. Game Rangers and Patrol Teams responded to those cries and arrested one of the poachers, while others managed to escape.

“The arrested poacher led Police to where the traps and nets were laid before they were recovered and later presented to the police at Kihiihi Police Station as exhibits.” Kigezi Regional Police Spokesperson Mr. Elly Maate said in a statement.

Hunting in Game Conservation centres is illegal as government is trying to conserve the ever at risk Wild Game Life that is faced with challenges like the above, encroachment of habitats and limited funds among others.

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Tourism, however, is the nation’s largest foreign exchange earner bringing into the country billions of dollars per year.