By AWORI ESTHER LUCY
KAMPALA, Uganda[SHIFTMEDIA] – A Congolese national is behind the coolers for being nabbed in possession of 122 African Grey Parrots.
The suspect identified as Mbaya Kabongo Bob was arrested with 2 cages containing 122 African Grey Parrots in Kisoro District. Mbaya was arrested during a joint operation conducted by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and Police in Kibaya village, Bunagana town council Kisoro district.
Mbaya was found in possession of 2 cages containing 122 African Grey Parrots three of which were dead, a passport, two phones and a power bank. The arrest followed intelligence information that we received about a suspected trafficker from Kinshasa Congo who intended to sell African Grey Parrots in Kisoro district Western Uganda.
The suspect and the exhibits were taken to Kisoro Police station and the case opened under CRB: 216/2022 and transferred to Kampala CPS on 16th April 2022.
Parrots released to UWA
The parrots were later released at Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre (UWEC).
The Executive Director UWA Sam Mwandha reiterated the UWA’s determination to make Uganda a dangerous route for wildlife traffickers. “We will not allow Uganda to be used as a transit route for wildlife traffickers; we will continue to arrest and prosecute such wildlife offenders. People should know that Uganda is a dangerous route for wildlife trafficking,” he said.
Mwandha noted that UWA has over the years built her capacity to combat wildlife crime and is now in a good position to detect and deter wildlife trafficking in the country. He hailed the support extended by the UPDF and Police in the operation saying that interagency collaboration is crucial for the protection of Uganda’s wildlife resources.
About African Grey Parrots According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) is listed on the red list as an endangered species. This is because of the extent of the annual harvest for international trade combined with the rate of ongoing habitat loss among others reasons. Globally, the population of the African Grey Parrot is estimated between 40,000 to 100,000. The species is undergoing a decline in Uganda with an estimated decline rate of at least 10% in the next 10 years or 3 generations.