By Senior Reporter
LWENGO – Police in the Greater Masaka Sub Region are on the prowl for those mischievous farmers suspected of poisoning 11 majestic crested cranes while leaving 8 others with nasty injuries.
This outrageous incident unfolded in the quaint villages of Kikonge and Nabyewanga, nestled in the Nkoni Sub County of Lwengo District.
Just when things were looking up for these enchanting birds, the International Crane Foundation (ICF) recently conducted a study in Lwengo, unearthing a whopping 1,359 Crested cranes residing in the district. However, this recent atrocity has taken a toll, leaving a heartbreaking total of 1,348 remaining.
The news of this heinous act was relayed to the International Crane Foundation by the local wetland teams, who have valiantly dedicated themselves to safeguarding these beautiful creatures.
To add insult to injury, the poison not only targeted the cranes but also had a lethal impact on the endangered yellow-billed ducks, who made the unfortunate decision to dine on the contaminated rice grains.
“We managed to retrieve 11 lifeless crane bodies from a rice field in the wetland. Alas, we were unable to rescue the other 8 cranes, injured and behaving erratically as they made their way towards the depths of the water, displaying the harrowing effects of the poison,” lamented Mr. Gilbert Tayebwa, the valiant African Crane Conservation Programme Officer at ICF.
Tayebwa also revealed that they managed to gather empty pesticide containers from the crime scene, which will undergo thorough analysis to determine the precise nature of this lethal concoction.
“In our quest to protect these graceful creatures, we took swift action to decontaminate the area, preventing any further harm to these beloved birds. We will tirelessly patrol the wetlands and educate the locals about the perils of resorting to violence, poisoning, or killing of these crested cranes, who call these wetlands their cherished homes,” he declared with determination.
The Grey crested crane, known affectionately as the crested crane, holds an esteemed position in Uganda’s national identity, its regal presence emblazoned proudly on the nation’s flag and coat of arms. Yet, despite its iconic status and aesthetic allure, this bird teeters on the brink of extinction.
Twaha Kasirye, the spirited spokesperson of the Southern Regional Police, revealed that the cranes suffered heart-wrenching damage after consuming the suspected poisoned rice grains.
Kasirye also issued a stern warning to the public, cautioning against any encroachment upon the wetlands that may bring harm to wildlife. He made it abundantly clear that such despicable actions could result in apprehension and legal prosecution.
The Source Reports.
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