Conserving Wildlife and Tourism a Risky Undertaking

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has confirmed the loss of a ranger to armed poachers which occurred on December 5, 2020. As of late, conserving wildlife and tourism has become a risky undertaking.

Announcing the sad news in a release dated December 7, UWA Communications Manager Bashir Hangi stated: “It is with great sorrow that we announce the death of Sgt. Emmanuel Matsipa who was killed by poachers while on duty in Kibale National Park on December 5, 2020.

“The late Sgt Matsipa together with 5 colleagues were ambushed by about 5 armed poachers in areas around Kanyantare in Kyejonjo district within Kibale National Park who opened fire killing him instantly.

“The team responded with fire, killing one of the poachers while the others fled.”

The Executive Director of UWA, Sam Mwandha, was disheartened to hear that Sgt. Matsipa had met his death at the hands of the armed poachers while on duty. He noted that it was unfortunate to lose staff to armed gangs.

“We have lost another hero. The increasing numbers of wildlife throughout the country is because of selfless people like Matsipa. We shall remember Sgt. Matsipa as a brave ranger who put this country first ending up trading his life for wildlife,” he said.

“The late Sgt. Matsipa has been a hard-working and selfless commander. He executed his work diligently and was an inspiration to many. The institution will greatly miss his commitment, hard work, bravery and passion for conservation.

“His death and others who have died at the hands of armed poachers shows the hostile environment in which we operate to protect and conserve Uganda’s wildlife heritage. That notwithstanding, we are even motivated further to protect our wildlife heritage for which he and others paid the ultimate price.

“Conserving our wildlife resources remains a risky undertaking. We put our lives on the line day and night in executing our mandate, and we call upon the public and especially the communities neighboring protected areas to support us in this cause. We should not allow a few selfish individuals to decimate our wildlife for personal benefit at the expense of all Ugandans. Poaching steals from us all!”

The late Sgt. Matsipa Emmanual served UWA for 23 years having joined the institution on February 1, 1997 as a tourist guide in Semliki Wildlife Reserve. He was redeployed to Law Enforcement as a ranger in1999 and his hard work, dedication, and commitment to conserving wildlife and tourism saw him rise through the ranks to Sergeant at the time of his death.

He leaves behind a widow and seven children. May he Rest in Eternal Peace.

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