8th December 2023
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Citizens cautioned against encroaching on wildlife reserve

Author: Okot Emmanuel | Published: Monday, August 23, 2021

A herd of kobs, thousands of them, bounding through open fields of lush, green grass - courtesy

The Minister of Wildlife, Conservation and Tourism has cautioned the public against encroaching into wildlife protected areas.

Last week, residents of Tonj South County of Warrap State clobbered to death a hyena that killed three people in the area.

This is not the first time three people have lost their lives due to human-wildlife conflict in South Sudan.

In 2019, three family members were also killed and three others injured when a hyena attacked their home in Pathai Payam, Upper Nile State.

Rizik Zachariah attributes the conflict to the encroachment of humans into wildlife protected areas.

“We are advising humans to preserve and maintain distance from where the conflict may arose or where the dangerous animals lives,” he stated.

Conservation experts say wildlife in the country is depleted by cattle raiders and soldiers on the move as they heavily rely on poaching.

They say there is increasing pressure on wildlife -from poachers and traffickers, and the unregulated developments in the parks and reserves.

The endangered species also include Tiang, elephants, gazelles, zebras, Black and white Rhinos and lions and the African leopard.

South Sudan is known to be a home for elephants, a great number of cheetah, ostrich, Nile crocodile, pangolins, among others, but are at risk of extinction.

The country is a member of several initiatives and organizations that combat wildlife and ivory trafficking, including the 2014 Arusha Declaration on Regional Conservation and Combating Wildlife/Environmental Crime, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Elephant Protection Initiative and INTERPOL.

In 2019, the U.S government launched a $7.5 million project to support conservation of wildlife, natural resources and protected areas in South Sudan.

This is after it was noted that local communities are depending on nearby reserves and parks for bush meat and illegal charcoal production.

The funds was meant to enable the project to build sustainable livelihoods and mitigate conflicts in and around Boma and Badingilo national parks.

The government said in 2019 that Plans are underway to establish special courts to try suspected poachers of wild animals across the country, the Chief Justice has said.

Chief Justice Chan Reech said the establishment of the court will help protect the wildlife and preserve the laws against poaching in the country.

But to date little has been done.

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