The operation was done by Natural Resource conservation Network together with Police in collaboration with Uganda Wildlife Authority who upon heard that someone was possessing 45kgs of Ivory ready for transaction around Karuma than both teams worked swiftly to make sure that justice is again done to the dwindling population of the massive beasts. The massive operation was mounted on 2nd March 2016 that saw three people arrested with 45kgs of Mature elephant Ivory namely Ayoma Nicholas,Alyon Stephen and Kazomi Abibu both residents of Ayuela village Kiryandongo District.
Upon arrest Ayoma Nicholas admitted that he got the contraband from a decomposing Caucus several meters from his home after trailing a strange smell that came from a distance and promised to lead the team to the place. The team then acted swiftly to act on the said information, after moving some distance deep into Karuma game reserve, the combined team of Police, UWA, and NRCN officers finally reached the scene of crime, The massive Beast of about 6000kgs was in its advanced decomposing stages believed to have been poisoned 3weeks back because there were no visible
bullet wounds as the UWA officials took a close look to the caucus.
The arrested are currently being detained at Kiryandongo Police Station waiting to appear in the courts of law. Dozens of the elephants have been killed in recent years by villagers, who regard the beasts as pests that destroy their plantations. The International Union for Conservation of Nature listed the animals as “critically endangered” after their numbers dropped critically to an estimated 5,000 last year CITES lists Elephants in Appendix I (18/01/1990), except populations of Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe (Appendix II, 18/09/1997) and South Africa (Appendix II, 19/07/2000) saying Environmentalists say the elephants could be extinct within three decades unless they are protected.
Elephants sometimes venture into populated areas searching for food due to destruction of their habitat. Some are shot or poisoned, while others are killed by poachers for their ivory. Local authorities and law enforcers are investigating the death of the elephants as preliminary investigation suggest that the endangered animal died from poisoning.
(Media Assistant, Natural Resource Conservation Network)