Wildlife law enforcement actors from Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN), Eagle Network together with police mounted an operation on 22nd September, 2015 in Bulisa in which they seized 30Kgs of Hippopotamus Ivory and arrested one person who had illegally got the Contraband.
The suspect identified as Chris Wendi is currently detained at Masindi police station waiting prosecution.
His other accomplices identified as Kadogo however managed to escape and is being looked for by police.
Hippos are under part B of the Game Preservation & Control Act of 1959 as amended and are not to be hunted or captured except under special permits, however their population has drastically decreased and are now listed in appendix one by CITES (Convention on International Trade of wild Fauna and Flora).
Muhindo Laban, the Media Officer, Natural Resource Conservation Network, says hippo teeth or Ivory are also used as substitutes for Elephant Ivory.
The operation was done jointly after an investigation in the area having been informed by concerned citizens about the illegality of the business which has been taking place Bulisa District and surrounding areas when asked about the source of the Ivory they said they poached from Bugungu Game Reserve and Murchison Falls National Park.
“The suspect and his accomplices have been looking for market for the ivory for months before NRCN officers and the authorities confronted them,” Laban said.
He noted that the alarm comes amid rampant cases of poaching in the East African which comes at a time when reports indicate that a lot of Hippos are being killed in Uganda annually.
Laban further cites the fact that Uganda has been identified as one of the leading transit routes for smuggling ivory out of Africa, with several incidents of ivory seizures at Entebbe International Airport and recovery of wildlife carcasses in recent days.
“The demand for ivory in the Far East has attracted criminal cartels to Uganda, who are feeding the insatiable demand.”