Suspects in Poisoning of 6 Ugandan Lions to Face Court

Three people arrested on allegations of poisoning and killing of six lions in Uganda’s Elizabeth National Park will face Buganda Road court tomorrow in Uganda’s capital Kampala.

Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, in a statement confirmed that the suspects have already been transferred from Kanungu to Criminal Investigations Directorate –CID headquarters in Uganda’s capital Kampala.

“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,” Enanga said.

Police have identified the trio as Tumuhirwe Vincent, 48, 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.

“They will be arraigned before the Utility court of Buganda road, on various charges of unlawfully killing wild life species, unlawfully entry into wildlife protected areas and being in unlawful possession of wildlife pieces of three lion heads,” police said.

Other exhibits police have retrieved from the suspect’s home include 15legs, jerry can be containing suspected animal fats and a tin of suspected poison, and spears. Security expects that the lions were poisoned because 9 other wild birds that died after eating the poisonous carcasses were forensically examined by the veterinary experts from UWA.

Police have indicated that the three suspects were thoroughly interrogated and they admitted the killing of lions for body parts and fats, which are used for ritualistic cleansing. Police have understood that the accused on the 20.03.2021 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. An additional 9 wild birds which ate the carcasses too, also died. It’s unfortunate that the suspects who had knowledge about the laws protecting wildlife in the area, still went ahead with their dangerous poaching exploits,” Enanga said.

Security has called for increased awareness and sensitization about the safety of wildlife in the area. Kigezi RDC, the UPDF 25th Brigade, UWA, the territorial Police in Kigezi and Kanungu, DISO, as well as the residents who shared valuable intelligence have all been extoled.