By Ismael Kasooha
A two-year-old child has been killed by a chimpanzee, which kidnapped her in the garden in the presence of the parents.
Mujuni Semata, the son of Zabroni Semata of Kyamajaka in Muhorro town council, Kibaale district was kidnapped by chimpanzees on Sunday and died hours after his parents found him lying unconscious in the forest.
“We were in the garden burning grass after clearing the fields. As the children and their mother settled down for a late lunch, a group of chimpanzees attacked, taking the child with them,” said Semata.
The bereaved mother, Omuhereza Ntegeka, 21, said: “As we shared the meal, one of the children asked for drinking water. I moved to get the water from the jerrican, about five meters away only to see the chimps emerging from the nearby bush and get hold of two children. They, however, dropped one and sped off with Mujuni.”
Semata told New Vision that he chased the chimp in the bush and it abandoned the child, but he had been severely hurt.
“The chimp undressed him and ripped him on the lower part of the abdomen, exposing the kidney. It also banged the child’s head on the ground, opening his skull. We rushed the child to a clinic in Kagadi, where we were referred to St.
mbrose Health Centre. From there, we were advised to go to Fort Portal Hospital. He died as we were on the way to Fort Portal,” said Semata.
Angered by the incident, residents reported the matter to Muhorro Police Post, demanding joint operations against the animals.
By 12:00 on Monday, dozens of spear and panga-wielding residents, joined by the Police, entered the forest and began the search for the killer chimps.
They combed the forest from corner to corner and saw one chimp, which ran through sugarcane plantations and vanished.
Charles Mubala, the officer in charge of Muhorro Police Post, said although the animal have caused havoc, they are not allowed to eliminate them but communicate to Uganda Wildlife Authority to relocate them.
The Police later took the body of the boy to Kagadi Police Station for a post-mortem examination, before handing it over to relatives for burial.
Early last year, one chimp was killed by residents of Mabale village in Bwikara sub-county when it kidnapped a two-year-old child, but the child was rescued by the father after a serious fight.
Previous cases of chimpanzee attacks
In June 2013, seven-year-old Ankunda from Bwikara in Kibaale was attacked by chimpanzees as he walked in the Kibaale National Park.
In May 2013, two children – Barnabus Baguma, 6, and Paddy Ankunda, 2 – of Mabale village Bwikara sub-county in Kibaale had been sent by their parents to buy ropes to tether their animals.
Then almost in a flash, a chimpanzee seized the younger brother by the hand and dashed off into the bush with him.
In June 2013, a seven-year-old boy was attacked and admitted to Kamwenge Health Centre IV after a chimpanzee bit off his buttocks in Kibale National Park.
In July 2012, six-month-old Noeline Asiimwe sustained injuries on her right leg after a chimpanzee snatched her from her mother’s back, before fleeing with her into the forest.
Chimpanzee kidnaps, kills 2-year-old boy