The UWEC Executive Director James Musinguzi Unveiled First Wildlife Ambulance
The UWEC Executive Director, James Musinguzi unveiled the ambulance at their premises on Wednesday afternoon. The donation of the Ambulance is part of the 11-year-old partnership between Paradise Wildlife Park and UWEC that has seen it staff trained in Wildlife conservation.
The 50,000-pound vehicle (about Shillings 243 million) is installed with a strong lighting system to enable rescuers move to the different animal habitats even during darkness, a custom belt and a dash camera that enables management to track the movement of the vehicle especially in dangerous places.
The ambulance will be able to carry wild animals especially in the cat species, which include Cheaters, Lions and Leopards. It will also carry Chimpanzees, Baboons and other primates. Despite the limited space of the vehicle, it will require an institution of a crate to enable it transport heavy animals like elephants.
UWEC rescued up to 441 birds of different species, 180 reptiles and 284 mammals between 2014 and 2019 as a result of the conflict between human activity and wildlife. The UWEC ED, James Musinguzi says well as the ambulance is a great achievement for the wildlife industry, government needs to buy a lot more in order to improve the industry, which serves as an enabler for Uganda’s tourism.
A hotline has also been set up for a search and rescue team under a new structure put in place by the New Wildlife law that will provide for more jobs for personnel in the search and rescue department to immediately help in the rescue of animals endangered by illicit wildlife activities and diseases.
Barbara Alapo, the team leader of Curators at UWEC, says communities that encroach on Wildlife habitats have negative perceptions against wildlife.
Aaron Witnall, an officer from Paradise Wildlife Park, the lead organization that donated the ambulance, says there is need for all stakeholders to look at wildlife as a contributor to the country’s tourism earnings and preserve them.
Flavia Kabahenda, the UWEC Board Chairperson says illicit Wildlife activities remain a huge challenge that requires multinational cooperation so as to protect the remaining wildlife across the world.