UGANDA: Suspects Behind Gruesome Killing of 6 Tree Climbing Lions to be arraigned in Court

Crime scene: where the lions were found last week
By :
Baluku Geoffrey

Kampala, Uganda – The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) is today Thursday set to arraign in court three prime suspects who are alleged to have killed six lions in Queen Elizabeth National park.

Police and the army on Monday this week arrested four suspects in connection to the crime, but one of them Brian Ampurira has been left out of the charge sheet.

“We wish to inform the public that the 3 suspects, allegedly involved in the killing of 6 lions at the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kanungu district, on the 20.03.2021, have been transferred to the Directorate of CID, Kibuli, for further necessary court action,” said Uganda Police Spokesman, CP Fred Enanga.

The suspects include; Tumuhirwe Vincent, a 48-year-old peasant of Tukundane village, Ariho Robert, a 40-year-old male peasant of Kazinga lower village and Miryango David, a 68-year-old male, traditional healer of Tukundane village.

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According to CP Enanga, the 3 suspects, who were thoroughly interrogated, admitted killing the six lions for body parts and fats, which are used for ritualistic cleansing.

He revealed that, the trio will be arraigned before the Utility court of Buganda road, on various charges of unlawfully killing wild life species, unlawful entry into wildlife protected areas and being in unlawful possession of wildlife pieces of three lion heads, 15 legs, jerry can containing suspected animal fats, which were all exhibited.

Other exhibits which were recovered include a tin of suspected poison, and spears.

Africa Tembelea has learnt that during the poaching exploits on the 20.03.2021, the suspects drove a herd of antelopes towards the pride of lions. After a successful catch by the lions, the suspects chased them away and laced the catch with poison, which the lions eventually ate and died. The dead lions and 9 other wild birds that died after eating the poisonous carcasses were forensically examined by the veterinary experts from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

“Its unfortunate that the suspects who had knowledge about the laws protecting wildlife in the area, still went ahead with their dangerous poaching exploits. This calls for increased awareness and sensitization about the safety of wildlife in the area,” the Police Spokesman said.

The joint security team that arrested the suspects was coordinated by the Kanungu RDC, the UPDF 25th Brigade, UWA and the territorial Police in Kigezi and Kanungu, DISO, and the residents who shared valuable intelligence.

CP Enanga notes that priority for the joint security agencies, still remains enforcement of wildlife protection laws in the country, adding that this case in point clearly demonstrates the security team’s resolve in holding accountable all persons who endanger wildlife.

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