On the 16th of April 2021, the Uganda wildlife governing body – UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) published a statement all over its social media platforms informing the public how it had took over security of rhinos at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. In its official press release, UWA wrote;
‘’Uganda Wildlife Authority has beefed up the security of the rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola district to ensure the safety of the rhinos at the sanctuary is not compromised.
This development follows misunderstandings between Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranches (ZRWR), the owners of the land where the rhinos are being bred, and Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU), an NGO that has been managing the rhinos. The misunderstandings have necessitated UWA to deploy appropriately to secure the rhinos until the differences between Ziwa Ranches and Rhino Fund Uganda are resolved. The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities working with UWA continue to engage the two parties to find an amicable solution.
The deployment is in line with UWA’s mandate of protecting wildlife resources in Uganda as per the Uganda Wildlife Act 2019. UWA is not party to the conflicts between Ziwa Ranches and Rhino Fund Uganda and we reiterate our impartiality in the matter while stressing our mandate as an institution established to protect Uganda’s wildlife heritage.
It is our hope that the misunderstanding between ZRWR and RFU will be resolved soon so that the operations at the sanctuary return to normal.
In the medium and long term, the rhinos will be introduced to UWA managed protected, areas. Plans are already underway towards achieving this, with UWA having completed a feasibly study to identify the most suitable locations for the introduction of rhinos and the conditions that need to be met to do so,’’ UWA concluded.
About Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary:
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, found in Northern Uganda; Nakasongola district – enroute to Murchison Falls National Park (Uganda’s largest protected area), is the only destination in Uganda where wild rhinos thrive.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is a collaborative effort between the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Rhino Fund Uganda, a Ugandan NGO committed to the restoration of Uganda’s rhinoceros population and Ziwa Ranchers and Rhino Fund, a private land management company.
The sanctuary offers a secure place where rhino populations can be expanded by breeding, protected from human and non-human predators and gradually re-introduced into Uganda’s national parks, while at the same time, allowing the public to enjoy these majestic animals, as the project moves forward.
The sanctuary is currently home to at least 30 rhinos. Furthermore, the sanctuary inhabits over 40 mammal and reptilian species including monkeys, antelopes, hippopotamuses, crocodiles and numerous bird species. For visitors willing to have an overnight stay at the sanctuary, there are tourist facilities at the sanctuary including a safari lodge, guest house, budget accommodation, and camp grounds. The accommodations are two separate businesses and both have restaurants that offer meals to tourists. In addition to on foot rhino trekking, tourist activities include birding, canoe rides and nature walks, among others.