Stray Lions Invade Amuru, Gulu Districts, Kill 11 cattle

Stray lions have invaded the districts of Amuru and Gulu killing at least 11 cattle and leaving residents in panic, local leaders have reported.

The lions reportedly invaded the villages of Ogom Raa and Palulu in Okidi Parish, Atiak Sub-county in Amuru district where they killed nine cattle two weeks ago.  The lions reportedly also killed and ate two cows in Oroko Village, Palaro Sub-county Gulu District.

Local leaders believe the lions could have crossed from East Madi Wildlife Game Reserve in Adjumani District while others suspect they could have strayed from Nimule National Park in Magwi County, South Sudan.

“Our people are currently living in fear. They cannot access their farm lands, fetch water and firewood for fear that they could be attacked by the lions,’’ said Simon Ogal Apire, the area Councilor III Okidi Parish.

“The lions spend most of the time in Adodi Hills during day but start moving in the villages by 6pm looking for livestock to attack,’’ said Mr Apire.

Apire said local leaders in the area had alerted Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) rangers to
intervene but  UWA has not yet intervened to chase away the beasts.

“We call on UWA to track these predators and drive them away from human settlements before they injure or kill human beings,’’ said Apire who added that children are not going to school for fear that they could be attacked by the lions.

Benson Ojok, one of the locals in Ogom-raa village said he has been forced to move his livestock away from the area for fear that they could attract the lions to his home.

“I cannot keep these animals at home currently because these lions are unpredictable and very dangerous. We call on UWA and security personnel to help us drive them away,” Mr Ojok said.

The Palaro Sub-County Chairperson Mr David Ngole expressed fear that the lions could still get back to Palaro even after being chased away by rangers.

“The lions have tested soft and tender meat from cows; they are likely to keep on returning in this area to hunt cattle. This is dangerous for the livestock farming in my area,” he said.

Tonny Olinga, the UWA commander for East Madi Wildlife game reserve told Acholi Times that their team has been on the ground for the last two weeks but have not been able to capture or drive away the lions.

“Lions are not foolish animals. They do their damages at night and during day they are in hidings. We have been combing the areas of Atiak Sub-county where they are suspected to be but in vain,” Olinga said.

He said they suspect it is one line that is attacking animals in the neighbourhood.

“Our men are on standby, once the lion [s] are captured, we shall relocate them to Murchison Falls National Park instead of shooting them dead,” he said.