At least six tree-climbing lions were found killed in the Ishasha sector of Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park by suspected poisoning.
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) said the animals were found with their heads and paws hacked off, and their bodies sorrounded by dead vultures.
We “cannot rule out illegal wildlife trafficking,” UWA said.
An investigation has now be launched into the heinous act that included extracting the lions’ internal organs.
Queen Elizabeth Park is known for rare species of lions with tree – climbing abilities.
We are saddened by the killings, UWA’s communications manager Bashir Hangi said in a statement.
“Nature tourism is an important part of Uganda’s economy, contributing about 10% of its GDP, and plays a vital role in the conservation of animals,” he added.
“UWA strongly condemns the illegal killing of wildlife because it does not only impact negatively on our tourism as a country, but also revenue generation, which supports conservation and community work in our protected areas,” he said.
There have been previous incidents where lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park were believed to have been poisoned; in 2010 five lions died and suspected poisoning led to the death of 11 lions in 2018.