This followed a land wrangle between Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranches (ZRWR), the owners of the 16,000 acres of land where Rhinos are being bred and Rhino Fund Uganda who are managing the sanctuary. Capt Joseph Charles Roy, the proprietor of Ziwa Rhino & Wildlife Ranches has since ordered Rhino Fund Uganda to vacate the land.
The statement further says that in the medium and long time, the rhinos will be introduced to UWA managed protected areas, adding that plans are underway to achieve this after completion of feasibility a study to identify a suitable location and conditions that need to be met.
According to Jalon Lakony Opiyo, every time elephants invade the area, each member of the village which has around 2000 households contributes 1000 shillings for the rangers to rescue them and their properties.
Denis Okot, a resident of Acholiber, says the armed men numbering 30 started invading the area on Saturday evening and by Sunday yesterday, their numbers had grown to over 60. According to Okot, the armed men who speak predominantly Madi are chasing away people from their homes and erecting temporary structures. He says several people including him have fled the area to nearby Punudyang village for fear of their lives.
Three of the cages have been totally submerged. The affected reptiles include two Egyptian cobras, three vipers, six pythons, an unspecified number of chameleons, four monitor lizards and other wild animals such as monkeys that are stuck in their cages.
“Even someone who had planned to come say in November it might be very hard to do so because their economies have been largely affected. What this means is that things of tourism become secondary to them. The priority shifts to survival other than leisure,” Hangi said.
Nakwang is hospitalized at Kaabong Hospital in critical condition. Mathew Kubal, the Community Development Officer-CDO in Kakamar Sub County, says the mother had gone to the garden to harvest maize when the elephant attacked.
James Musinguzi the UWEC Executive Director urged conservationists to involve in activities that would protect Wildlife to promote tourism, and preserve environment. He says such efforts help in mitigating such wildlife-human conflict.