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UWA returns Kenya tortoises

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th July 2001 03:00 AM

THE Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), has returned to Kenya, the 198 pancake tortoises recovered from a suspected smuggler early this year

THE Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), has returned to Kenya, the 198 pancake tortoises recovered from a suspected smuggler early this year

By Gerald Tenywa THE Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), has returned to Kenya, the 198 pancake tortoises recovered from a suspected smuggler early this year by security operatives at Kibimba on Tororo-Jinja Highway . Lilly Ajarova, the acting UWA spokesperson at the weekend, confirmed to The New Vision that UWA recently handed over the animals to Kenya Wildlife Service. "They were taken back to Kenya because pancake tortoises do not naturally occur anywhere in Uganda,'' Ajarova said adding that they exist only in Kenya and Tanzania. The tortoises were intercepted while in transit aboard a Tawfiq bus travelling from Dar-es-Salaam to Kampala via Nairobi. The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC), provided sanctuary to the tortoises. Wilhelm Moller, the UWEC Technical Adviser, identified the pancake tortoises as malococersus tornei, which is an endangered species. He said trade in the tortoises is restricted because they are listed under Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of wild flora and fauna. Moller said trafficking of wildlife species in the country was increasing and that there was a need to stop it. Ajarova said they were working with various stakeholders to curb the illegal activities. UWA is the lead agency on wildlife management in the country established in 1997. Ends

UWA returns Kenya tortoises

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