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Lamwo Residents In Panic As Stray Lions Kill Six Cattle

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The Padibe East Sub County LC 3 Chairperson, Julius Peter Olung told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that residents are currently living in fear following the invasion of the lions. He says the lions suspected to be male and female attacked another kraal on Monday night in the same village where they killed three more calves.
A lioness moves through Murchison Falls National Park after a collaring exercise conducted by UWA in April 2018. Photo By Julius Ocungi
Two stray lions believed to have escaped from Kidepo Valley National park have killed six cows in Katum East village in Padibe East Sub County in Lamwo district triggering panic among residents.     The lions are said to have invaded a kraal containing over 500 animals on Sunday evening where they killed three calves and injured three others. The Padibe East Sub County LC 3 Chairperson, Julius Peter Olung told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that residents are currently living in fear following the invasion of the lions.

 

He says the lions suspected to be male and female attacked another kraal on Monday night in the same village where they killed three more calves. Olung notes that the third invasion was thwarted at around midnight on Wednesday by a team of Uganda People’s Defense Forces soldiers deployed to guard kraals in the area.  

“Our people are living in fear because the lions are still within the community posing danger to them and their animals. We call upon speedy action by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to drive away the game animals to the conservation area,” he told URN. He says the lion are bound to make repeated attacks if they are not driven away because of the soft meat they have already tested outside Kidepo Valley National Park.  

Joseph Okello, the Community Conservation Officer under Uganda Wildlife Authority acknowledged receiving reports of the stray lions. He says a team of UWA officials accompanied by rangers visited the affected areas for mapping and community sensitisation on Tuesday to ensure that residents keep out of contact with the lions.  

  He says three UWA rangers will be deployed to drive the lions from community areas to Kidepo Valley National Park. “We visited the areas yesterday but couldn’t camp to start driving away the lions because we needed logistics and food for our men. We have confirmed from the foot prints that there are two lions roaming the area but we ask for calm from locals as we start pushing them out,” Okello said.    

He also says UWA’s slow response was due to the man power shortage coupled with the vast areas of operation under Karenga conservation area, which covers more than 900 square kilometers. Incidents of stray game animals in Lamwo and Kitgum districts have been common in the past. Late last year, residents of Orom Sub county suffered heavy losses after stray elephants ravaged their farmlands.