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Revenge act:  residents kill leopard that attacked and killed a baby amid wildlife and human conflicts

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Narrating what led to the ugly incidence,the Residents said Baby Gertrude Ainembabazi had spent the entire Wednesday evening playing with her siblings before the beast attacked and killed her.

 

This isn’t the first attack from wildlife in the village,earlier in the week an elephant also reportedly killed a three-year-old baby in this same  village that neighbours Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda.

According to a local resident, Mr John Sibukere”  said the leopard could have been hiding in an abandoned house from which it had earlier killed a goat.”

“It went wild after locals attempted to engage it but it was later overpowered,” Mr Sibukere said.

The family of the little girl who was killed by the leopard were thrown into mourning,the baby’s father Mr Ben Mutungire said he was yet to return home by the time of the incident.

“My daughter was attacked and killed by the leopard but her body was taken by security officials without informing me. As I speak now, I don’t know where her body is,” grieved Mutungire said.

The toddler’s mother Ms Jalia Natukunda, was said to have gone to get groceries for the family  only to be greeted by the devastating  news on arrival.

The manager of Queen Elizabeth protected area, Mr Edward Asalu, on Thursday confirmed the incident saying he is waiting for a report from his field staff.

The Katwe Sub-county chairperson, Mr Cyrus Baluku, said the leopard raided the landing site on Wednesday evening before killing a child who had been left under the care of her siblings.

“I strongly advise residents, especially in the fishing villages, to guard against letting their children outdoors after 7pm and ensure they are in the care of an adult to minimise such unfortunate incidents,” Mr Baluku cautioned.

Conflicts between locals,especially those around the Queen Elizabeth National Park and the wildlife is becoming unbearable.In July last year, residents of Hamkungu Fishing Village poisoned a pride of lions they accused of preying on their cows.

In 2010, more than six lions were poisoned when the pastoralists felt the wildlife were becoming a burden as their presence has caused an unending conflict between wildlife and people in the area.

These continued conflict has made conservationist to  wonder if certain wildlife will not go into extinction,they cited the dwindling number of wild cats in Uganda as the wildlife-human conflict persists.

The poisoning of the pride of 11 climbing lions by the locals at Hamukungu Fishing Village, for instance, was the third incident since 2007 when 13 lions were poisoned.

Later in 2010, eight lions were also poisoned in the same park.

Comfirming this latest development,The manager of Queen Elizabeth national park,Mr Edward Asalu, estimates the current population of lions in the park at 42 out of 400 in the whole country.

 

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