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Strange Disease Attacks Lions In Kidepo Valley National Park

Though conservationists have not found out what the lions are suffering from, the say the lions have for over a month shown signs of weakness, emaciated body size and structure and are not so active like their counterparts in other parks.
16 Aug 2015 07:42

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A strange disease is being reported among the lions in Kidepo Valley National Park. Though conservationists are not sure of the type of disease the lions are suffering from, the say the lions have for over a month shown signs of weakness, emaciated body size and structure and are not so active like their counterparts in other parks. Reports from the area indicate that the strange illness has affected almost all the lion prides within the park.

Officials from Uganda Wildlife Authority are not sure of the nature of the disease or what could have caused it.

Charles Tumwesigye, the Deputy Director in charge of conservation at UWA says they have been observing the ailment for a while. He says as precautionary measures, the authority teamed up with officials from the Uganda Conservation Foundation to dust the lions. He says they have also taken samples from the lions for tests to confirm what they are suffering from.

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Tumwesigye says though lions are closely controlled under the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES they are applying for special permit to fly the samples out of the country

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Tumwesigye says the authority will soon start the translocation of prey animals like Antelopes to Kidepo National Parks to sort out the problem of starvation. He believes the lions are starving because the park has mostly larger mammals that are difficult to kill.

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He says though the lions have been in emaciated state for some time, none of them has died, raising hope that it could only be the impact of starvation making them look weak and emaciated.

Kidepo Valley National Park has a total of 132 Lions, making it one of the parks with most populated parks in the country. Reports also show that over years, it is the only national park that has seen increasing population of the lions. Uganda has about 400 lions left in the wild. CITES lists the lions in appendix one, making them as one of the most endangered species alongside elephants.

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