Residents of Masindi, Nakasongola and Kiryandongo districts are breathing a sigh of relief after a crocodile suspected to have eaten three children in the area in the last two months was captured on Friday.
Mr Jossy Muhangi, the Uganda Wild Authority (UWA) spokesperson, confirmed the predator was captured at River Kafu that straddles the boundary of the three districts.
“We captured the crocodile today (Friday) but you can get details from our regional spokesperson [Mr John Egesa],” Mr Muhangi said.
Efforts to get a comment from Mr Egesa were futile as his known contacts were inaccessible. But a local online publication reported that the crocodile was captured by UWA officials near Murchison Falls National Park.
Last month, the residents petitioned UWA to kill the crocodile following several reported attacks by the reptile and other beasts on the shores of River Kafu.
In November last year, residents of Kimengo Sub-county in Masindi District accused UWA of not taking seriously their complaints that crocodiles on River Kafu were killing residents by the river banks. The complaints follow the killing by the beast of a Primary Five pupil of Kaikanga Primary School as she fetched water from River Kafu.
Mr Robert Musasizi, the Kimengo Sub-county chairman, said they had experienced similar problems and several people and animals had been eaten by the predators in the villages of Miduma, Kateirwe, Kizinga, Kafu and Kayera all in Kimengo Sub-county.
The locals accused UWA, whose mandate is to conserve wildlife, of giving priority to animals over human beings.
Mr Richard Muhabwe, the UWA’s manager for Murchison Falls conservation area in Masindi District, said they were aware of the dangers posed by crocodiles on River Kafu but they lacked personnel to control or repatriate the beasts.