Environment
A hunter is hunted
Publish Date: Apr 02, 2014
A hunter is hunted
The crocodile was trapped and captured by Uganda Wildlife Authority officials in Jinja on Monday. PHOTO/Donald Kiirya
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JINJA

Over four metres long, a staggering 80 years of age and an impressive 1,000kg heavy. These are the statistics of a ferocious hunter ready to execute its aggressiveness on any unsuspecting victim.

But for this one fierce reptile, the script has long changed. It was trapped Sunday night by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials, and finally captured on Monday, much to the relief of the area residents.

Residents said the giant crocodile had killed, and possibly eaten, six people in the area. Besides, it has been a consistent source of terror for the people on the landing sites of Ntinkalu, Misolu, Wairaka and Wanyange.

So how was it captured?

(PHOTOGRAPHER: Donald Kiirya)

Uganda Wildlife Authority officials and residents looked for the man-eater crocodile along the shores of Lake Victoria at Kakira after it was trapped. The reptile was trapped using a hook with a piece of meat attached to it as bait on Sunday night.
 

Residents said the massive reptile had been terrorising them for long. Over 100 of them gathered at Kakira landing site to watch the croc brought to shore by UWA officials. Clearly, there was an air of anxiety as well as fear, understandly, among the anticipating crowd. While some were bold enough to get closer for a better view, others kept watch of their distance, and instead preferred to watch the "free movie" from a bit far.

Weighing some 1,000kg, the reptile was finally brought on land . . .  and it was welcomed by a massive crowd, many of whom snapped it with their cameras to freeze in time that little bit of historical moment of sorts. UWA officials worked with volunteers to carefully handle the monster. Any wrong move, and you  know what can happen next!

Many just could not resist the temptation of a rare opportunity to have a feel of that tough scaly build. It was a heavy task lifting the one-tonne animal onto the awaiting UWA truck. Too many cooks spoil the broth? No, not for this one. The plenty of hands came in very handy to get the job done right.

One resident said: " It killed our colleague called Ojok. It ate the lower part of his body but we recovered the other part. We buried him two years ago in Gulu district.

Another recounted: "This reptile ate two people at Misoli Landing site. It also attacked Omoit who managed to escape with injuries."

UWA official Oswald Tumanya said: "We trapped it two years ago but it managed to escape."

After its successful capture, then bundled up and blind-folded with a blanket, the crocodile was transferred to Murchison Falls National Park.

UWA publicist Jossy Muhangi said the weight of a crocodile and age can be established by measuring its length and girth.

Could this be one of the largest crocs in Africa . . . or even, in the whole world? 

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