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How To Avoid Crocodile Attacks

The most recent crocodile attack was reported in Mayuge district in February where a crocodile mauled a 16 year old boy Shaffic Watangwa. This is just one of the reported cases of crocodile attacks from Lake Victoria but the numbers are said to be around 10 – 20 incidents each year, according to Kisambira, awareness and education officer at UWA headquarters, Kampala.
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Communities living near the shores of Lakes Victoria, Kyoga and Edward have several times fallen prey to crocodile attacks.

Since 2017, at least 17 people were reportedly mauled and killed by crocodiles from various districts including Mukono, Jinja and Namayingo. There were also about 20 incidents of crocodile attacks reported in 2019.

Due to such attacks, the fishermen and communities living around lake shores are living in fear because of crocodiles roaming the shorelines of the lakes in their area. The fishermen say the crocodiles appear on the shorelines at different intervals during the day. 

To reduce such attacks among communities at the shores, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has built safe cages or crocodile exclusion areas in Lake Victoria and Kyoga where the residents are supposed to fetch water from.

However, according to Valerian Kisambira, the Awareness and Education Officer Uganda Wildlife Authority, some people still fetch water away from the safe cages, hence exposing their lives to the risk of crocodile attacks.

The most recent crocodile attack was reported in Mayuge district in February where a crocodile mauled a 16-year-old boy Shaffic Watangwa. This is just one of the reported cases of crocodile attacks from Lake Victoria but Kisambira says that there could be around 10 to 20 incidents each year.

Kisambira advises communities living near the water bodies to always avoid throwing food remains around the lake. He says that the remains attract crocodiles, that later become a problem to the community.

He says to fight off an attack from a crocodile; one should hit it right in its eyes or its forehead.

Kisambira says one should be ready to lose a limb but save a life by hitting the animal right in its eyes.

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He also advises the community to avoid the known breeding areas for crocodiles and stop bathing and washing in the lake. A bite of a crocodile is said to be an equivalent force of about 1000 tones when it claws its jaws.

Elephants are another problem, especially around the game park corridor. At Kidepo National Game Park, the elephants destroy large numbers of acres of crop farms every year. They also sometimes kill people they come across notably in Kaabong and Kotido districts. Every year, at least two people are killed or injured by stray elephants.

According to Sharon Kamuganga Kagwisa, the Warden Human-Wildlife Conflict, she advises that one should keep a distance away from the elephants.

She adds that one should run in the opposite direction of the wind in a zig-zag manner while making a loud noise to scare it away. An elephant is said to be very aggressive when it has a calf.


According to Francis Ainembabazi of the UWA Community Conservation Department in Kampala, people have encroached into the animal corridor and this is the reason why there is an animal conflict with communities.

Unlike the elephant, experts warn that one should not flee from a lion even when it charges at one. Stand still and withdraw slowly. Experts say if the Lion charges at you freeze immediately and afterwards move slowly.

According to Kisambira, one should also avoid getting closer to a leopard and if it charges at you, then you should shout, clap hands and wave arms to appear bigger. Others to avoid include Buffaloes, Snakes and pythons.



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