A leopard that snatched and killed a three-year-old boy in Uganda has been tracked down and killed according to the authorities.
The tragic event happened on Friday 4th May and the only remains of Elisha Nabugyere found were his skull and jumper.
Now, the staff at the Queen Elizabeth National Park have finally tracked the animal down and killed it, according to a post from a staff member of the Ugandan tourism board.
Spacey Kawa Oreste Specioza reacted publicly to the incident on Facebook by putting out the following statement:
“The leopard which had killed the child has since been eliminated (killed) by UWA rangers and Dr. Ludwig Siefert. Normally tranquilizers are used to partially sedate the animal and then the doctors ascertain if it’s the culprit, if innocent it is let free in the wild.”
This post was an update on the situation, but had earlier revealed what had happened to the unlucky toddler.
It read: “On Friday 4th May at around 9.15pm, a very unfortunate incidence happened at the Queen Elizabeth National Park Peninsula. A 3 year old boy, son of a female UWA ranger Ms Doreen (gate keeper to the UWA quarter guard) met his untimely death after being attacked by a Leopard at the UWA staff camp house about one and a half kilometer from the Lodge.
“That very day, UWA arranged means to take the skull remains of the deceased for burial at Ms. Doreen’s rural home.This incidence has put the park in turmoil, as believed that when a predator tastes its prey, and likes it, it somehow maintains that diet for a while, in this case the prey being the human flesh.”
At the time of the toddler’s death, a spokesperson for the Ugandan wildlife authority, Bashir Hangi, had said: “The maid was not aware the child followed her.
“She heard the kid scream for help, she intervened but it was too late the leopard had vanished with it in the bush and a search was mounted until we got the skull the next day.
“The hunt is on with the intention of capturing the leopard and removing it from the wild because once it has eaten human flesh, the temptations are high to eat another human being, it becomes dangerous.”
They have now found and eliminated the leopard before it could kill again.
However, not everybody is happy with the decision to kill the creature. Animal activists and people from all around the world have taken to the Internet to share their opinion on the matter.
One Twitter user recognised the devastation caused but did not believe that the leopard should’ve been hunted:
“Very very tragic but it’s not the animals fault and it should not be hunted down and killed for its natural instincts in its natural habitat, should not let a toddler roam around with such dangerous animals around.”
Whilst another user shared this controversial opinion
“It’s not the leopard’s fault, shoot the nanny instead”
The issue also divided opinions on Facebook;
As well as this, the CEO of International Animal Rescue Foundation Africa also shared his knowledge and thoughts on the matter with the following;
“Your information is misleading. Firstly the parents shouldn’t have been in the area where the wild animals roam. There are signs everywhere stating this, and, there’s leaflets plus verbal advice also provided about safety.”
“The title “has been terminated” wow. You make it sound like our leopards are killing machines that must be hunted when humans decided to act so negligently. The leopard was shot dead. One bullet to the chest, another to the head. There was no telling if that was the actual leopard though. Rangers and hunters simply went on a very basic eye witness statement.
That leopard that’s now been shot dead could be nursing a family. Could be the wrong animal, but nevermind, lets claim victory. In North Africa leopard distribution in North Africa has been restricted by 97% of their former range with only remnant, isolated populations remaining.”
He went on to explain how the leopard population is also rapidly reducing other parts of Africa:
“In West Africa – Leopard distribution in West Africa has been dramatically reduced. This reduction is likely due to habitat fragmentation.
Meanwhile in Central Africa – In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Leopard range was largely reduced in areas of increased human influence and areas relatively easy to access and therefore open to illegal hunting and bushmeat trade.
East Africa – The distribution of Leopards in East Africa has been reduced, in particular in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and central Tanzania. There are possible remnant populations in Djibouti, Eritrea, and North Sudan. They are nearly absent from Somalia.
Southern Africa – Southern Africa likely has the healthiest Leopard populations of their entire range. It is generally thought that Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique have declining but healthy Leopard populations outside of human dominated areas.
We don’t even know how many leopards are remaining on our continent of which the species is listed as vulnerable, and here you are glorifying the death of an animal that was doing what is natural. You should be scolding the parents, not the animal.”