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King of the Jungle in danger

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd May 2013 01:57 PM

The roar of the lion sends chills up the spines of animals and people alike. The famed king of the jungle is one of the tourist attractions in Uganda.

King of the Jungle in danger

The roar of the lion sends chills up the spines of animals and people alike. The famed king of the jungle is one of the tourist attractions in Uganda.

By Titus Kakembo
 
The roar of the lion sends chills up the spines of animals and people alike. The famed king of the jungle is one of the tourist attractions in Uganda.
 
 Lions are the only cats that live in groups, which are called prides. Males defend the pride’s territory, marking their territory with urine and roaring menacingly to warn intruders away.
 
Lionesses are the primary food hunters. Their regular prey is always swifter on their feet than lions, so the lions work in teams to score a kill, then they scramble to share the kill.
 
However, these big cats are under threat. A total of 11 lions are believed to have been killed by poachers since 2012. This was revealed by a senior warden at Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP), Dr. Margaret Achiru, while delivering a paper on the status of tourism and protected areas.
 
“Since the missing lions were all tagged with identification gadgets, they could be traced electronically,” Tom Okello, the chief park warden at QENP said. “Over a few months, the identification tags went off the radar. I believe they were killed by poachers and the tags destroyed.”
 
A combination of civil strife and poaching greatly reduced wildlife populations between 1970 and the late 1980s. For example, to be elevated to a given social status, a Karimojong man must singly kill a lion and bring the carcass home as proof that he can protect his family and tribe. 
 
Superstitious soldiers involved in the LRA war in northern Uganda are reported to have enhanced their luck with fetishes that had a lion’s nails, paws and testicles.
 
To see a lion today, one has to dig deep in one’s wallet to go to  Murchison Falls, Kidepo or Queen Elizabeth National Parks. Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe has lions in captivity.

King of the Jungle in danger

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