14 February, 2011

Uganda: Gorilla Stamps, Parrot smuggling and Baboons slaughtered

While, it was most pleasing and uplifting that a few days ago, Uganda Wildlife Authority and Posta Uganda used the World Post Day to launch a series of stamps dedicated to the mountain gorillas in the country - mainly found in Bwindi and Mahinga; in the last few weeks, there have been some very disturbing and disheartening news on Ugandan wildlife. Hundreds of gray African parrots have been seized while being smuggled out of the country; while in Luweero, tens of baboons were mercilessly slaughtered. 
A team of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials and the Police have seized 140 African Gray parrots from Wakiso district. This brings the number of parrots seized to 272 in just a fortnight. New Vision

An Uganda Wildlife Authority official says more than 270 African grey parrots have been seized from smugglers in the past month, which suggests there is a syndicate illegally exporting Ugandan wildlife. The Canadian Press
.....a week after Luweero District authorities launched a campaign on Thursday, to eliminate families of baboons which they accuse of destroying crops in Kamira sub-county. Over 30 baboons have so far been shot dead. AllAfrica
African gray parrots, once out of the country - mainly destined for Europe and the US, fetch about 2,000 US Dollars. It is not only those smuggling these harmless birds that are merciless; those buying them and keeping them in their homes as pets, for fun or as a form of entertainment - should realize that they too are just as cruel; these birds are hunted, trapped and captured in very cruel ways; when being transported, after being captured, many of these parrots die on the way due to the very harsh means on which they are being moved from place to place. Why should any one want to keep as a pet, a wild animal which is comfortable in the wild and not in captivity?

We all know how most troublesome baboons can be, especially when they live close to us. We know how they steal and destroy our crops and food. But to butcher tens of them as a form of control, that is going too far. As Ms Lillian Nsubuga, Uganda Wildlife Authority spokesperson said: killing baboons is against the law. She went on to point out and stress: vermin control strategy provides for target killing of the ringleaders which often, are the dominant males in the group. It is sad that so many baboons were killed; it is even sadder and disturbing that the slaughter was done by the Luweero District authorities.

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