For the past two days, social media has been flooded with stories claiming that a brave man from Uganda, specifically the Iganga district, strangled a lion.
The story was mostly covered by online publications both inside and outside of the country.
The authors claimed that a man, whose identity was never revealed, was returning home when he confronted and strangled the wild lion. Our editors also published the story on our site.
The publications continue to hail the man as a hero before concluding that Iganga residents skinned the wild animal and shared its meat.
Uganda Wildlife Authority Clarifies
According to eyewitness accounts and statements from officials, including the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the incident did not occur in Iganga district.
The incident occurred in Kagadi district, according to the Authority, and it all happened on April 8 at around 11:30 a.m. when their team at Kibale National Park received information from the DPC Kagadi about an a lion in Kobushera village that had killed a number of livestock and was confirmed to have been seen by a number of people.
“Our staff at Muhoro satellite outpost got in touch with the DPC, linked up with him at midday and went with him and other police officers to Rwabaragi village/parish, Mpeefu Sub County, Kagadi District where the lion was last sighted about 30KM from Muhoro Town Council,” reads part of UWA’s statement dated April 9.
According to UWA Communications Manager Bashir Hangi, their goal was to assess the situation with the intention of capturing the animal and relocating it to a protected area.
Bashir Hangi adds that when they arrived in the area, they discovered a crowd of communities searching for the lion. They had on them various tools such as machetes, spears, and large sticks because it had already injured three people in the area.
Read the statement here on a lion;
“The lion was already stressed and enraged by the presence and noise of a huge crowd that was following the lion with intention to kill it. Communities were asked to give way and let our staff and police handle the problem animal together with four community members, but instead more and more crowds gathered due to the noise and alarm that was being raised,” Hangi says.
As the search intensified, they were joined by Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) soldiers from the First Division Kyeterekera UPDF Battalion in Kagadi, led by Lt. Col. James Lubega. Lubega took command of the mission.
Residents of Mpeefu who spoke to our news reporters agreed with Bashir Hangi that during the search, one UPDF soldier, Cpl Moses Amodoi, spotted the lion and attempted to shoot it. But it jumped on him, seriously injuring him. Another UPDF soldier, whose name has not been revealed, shot the lion to save Amodoi.
Residents said they quickly skinned the dead lion and shared the meat to assuage their grief.
“UWA staff pleas to handle the carcass fell on deaf ears and they were overpowered by the crowd. They only managed to secure the skin and the head from the carcass which were taken to police for record purposes and further investigations.” Hangi further explains.
In the future, UWA has pledged to treat the injured and ensure that a similar incident does not occur again. Before asking communities to always report to their toll-free number 0800100960.