Three lions ; one male and two females are suspected to have migrated from Sango Bay, near Lake Victoria to Lake Mburo National Park. The Chief Warden, Lake Mburo Conservation Area, Adonia Bimpora, said one female had a cub. Speaking to The weekly observer one of the New writers in Uganda, Adonia said that this may imply the coming of the lions to this national park after they were wiped out by nomadic pastoralist Bahima Community in the early 1980s.
Cattle keepers killed all the lions with the hope that the game park would be converted into grazing land for their cattle.
It is also alleged that these lions may have come from Akagera National Park of Rwanda given the fact that migration of game between Mburo and Akagera game parks have been recorded in the past.
Besides lions, elephants and giraffes are some of the animals reported extinct in Lake Mburo National Park over the last couple of years.
Adonia added that that the newly arrived lions will be radio-collared with the assistance of a research project and monitored to ensure their safety. He however said that the Uganda Wildlife Authority has initiated an alert curriculum for local communities around the national parks to teach them on the benefits of co-existing with wildlife, particularly the importance of lions to tourism.
According to a researcher attached to Makerere University, Dr. Ludwig Siefart, lions are endangered species in Uganda’s game parks, and there are only few left Queen Elizabeth national park and Murchison Falls national park, yet they have been the back-bone of the country’s tourism for many years before being conquest to legendary mountain gorillas. He attributed the sharp reduction in the lion population to poachers seeking lion skin for witchcraft purposes and pastoral communities avenging the loss of their cattle to the beasts.
Dr. Ludwig accredited this rapacious behaviour on the part of lions to human encroachment on protected areas, leave-taking small patches of land which are not sufficient for the wildlife to inhabit freely without encroaching on human communities.