An outflow of elephants from the Kidepo Valley National Park has triggered fear among residents in villages neighboring the park in Kaabong district. Stray elephants have been moving to different villages around the park; destroying crops and killing people, according to district authorities.
Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the major tourist attractions in the country. The park has arguably the most diverse fauna including lions, leopards and bat-eared foxes, Black-backed and side-striped jackals, buffaloes, antelopes among others.
Kidepo is also home to many animal species found nowhere else in the country, including the cheetah, caracal, aardwolf, greater and lesser kudu, mountain reedbuck and Guenther’s dik-dik.
But Kaabong district chairperson Mark Abuku says that much as the district is blessed with such different animal species, the lives and property of his people are at stake. He says that at least four people are attacked by elephants every month, causing deaths the different sub counties of Kakamar, Loyoro, and Sidok among others.
Abuku wants compensation of his people who have been injured or killed by wildlife.
Johnson Masereka, the chief warden of Kidepo Valley Conservation Area says that incidences of animals destroying, injuring or killing people are provoked by poachers. He explains that the said animals have co-existed with locals for long, adding that the increasing population of both wildlife and humans has triggered conflict.
The State Minister for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda says the ministry is training community wildlife scouts to manage the wandering animals.