The heaviest penalty ever given for such offenses in Ugandan history was life in prison for an ivory merchant. 2019 saw the passage of a new law that increased the penalties for trafficking in or poaching from endangered species. In January of this year, Pascal Ochiba was detained with two pieces of ivory that weighed almost 10kg (22lb) together. The magistrate ruled that Ochiba should spend the rest of his life in prison as a result of his history of crimes against wildlife.
According to a statement from the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the chief magistrate of the nation’s special wildlife court, Gladys Kamasanyu, noted in passing judgment that “offenses of unauthorized possession of protected species are common and there is a need to curtail them” (UWA).
“This is a significant victory in the fight against Uganda’s illegal wildlife trade. If we don’t conserve our wildlife in this generation, history will be hard on us “Sam Mwandha, the executive director of UWA, stated.The hunter who murdered Rafiki, a silverback gorilla, was given an 11-year term in 2020.
Two guys were each given an eight-year prison term in September of this year for the murder of six endangered tree-climbing lions.
In Uganda, only slightly more than 7,900 elephants are living in the wild, including both forest and savannah elephants.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists savannah elephants as endangered and classifies forest elephants as critically endangered. Since the 1990s, the nation’s elephant population has increased. Mammals are still at risk from trafficking and poaching, though. Ochiba had already been imprisoned in 2017 after being found in possession of four pieces of ivory and the skin of an Okapi.
Only the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to the endangered okapi, which resembles a zebra.