One of the dead lionesses
Three lionesses have been found electrocuted in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Rubirizi District. They were part of the 10 lions that were brought into the park last month.
Bashir Hangi, the Communications Officer at Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA) says the three lionesses had moved out of the gazetted area of the park in search of what to eat.
One of the lionesses had a tracking collar fixed on its neck.
According to Hangi, the Lionesses were found dead on a private electric fence belonging to Irungu Forest Safari Lodge in Kigabu Village Katunguru, meters away from the National Park. Hangi says that they are yet to meet the management of the lodge over the matter.
Kabagambe Gonzaga, the LCI Chairperson Katunguru Cell says they found the lionesses dead in the morning as they were heading to the gardens.
Efforts to get a comment from the owners of the Irungu Forest Safari Lodge went futile since their phones were off.
In 2019, the government started a project to install electric fences around all the national parks to try to prevent the wildlife from escaping into neighboring communities to destroy crops and also boost the fight against poaching.
In Queen Elizabeth, a 10-km solar-powered electric wire fence was erected. However, the death of the lionesses will raise concerns about the type of fencing that was used. Hangi said that they are investigating if the electric fence that was erected at the lodge was of high voltage.
According to UWA, they spent about 22 Million Shillings per kilometer, and the materials were imported from Kenya.
In 2018, UWA patterned with Space for Giants to use collar trackers on Lions to protect them in their natural habitat. Each collar tracker costs 3,000-5,000 USD.
Last year, six Lions were found dead after being poisoned at Ishasha Sector in Kanungu district.