More Than 40 Illegal Rifles Collected From Lantoto National Park: Official

Wildlife officials in Yei River County have arrested over 44 illegal rifles in Lantoto National Park, an official has said.

More Than 40 Illegal Rifles Collected From Lantoto National Park: Official
Lt Col Joseph Taban displaying some of the rifles arrested in Lantoto National Park. [Gurtong | File]

By Petia Suliman Loro

YEI, 05 July 2013 [Gurtong] – 
Lt. colonel Joseph Taban, the park warden of Lantoto National Park and the Wildlife Director for Yei River County told reporters that over 44 rifles including AK 47 and G 3 were rounded up in the hands of illegal poachers in the Lantoto National Park.

Some animals’ skins and two pairs of elephant task were also arrested in the park during the hunt down of the poachers by the Wildlife authority.

Joseph said the presence of these illegal rifles in the National park have greatly affected the wildlife in the park forcing some animal species to cross to Garamba National park in the neighboring D.R Congo.

He added traditional poachers living around Lantoto National park is another threat to the wildlife as the poachers use bows and arrows hunting for the animals in the park.

Joseph appreciated the County Authority, State and National Governments and development partners for supporting the wildlife department with equipments such as Computers, digital camera and monitoring equipment that easy supervision of the wildlife activities in Lantoto National Park.

He stated that the level of poaching this year has drastically reduced compared to the previous years.

Juma David Augustine the commissioner of Yei River County congratulated the leadership of wildlife Authority in Yei River County for regulating or seeing that the illegal poachers are arrested.

He called upon the State and National Government in Juba to support the wildlife in the county to bring an end to illegal poaching of animals in the County.

Lantoto National is 760 square kilometer situated in the western part of Yei River County bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The park hosts different animal species such as elephants, Rhino, giraffe, Buffalo, Monkeys and many others that are sources of tourism and research to the students and the Government of South Sudan if properly utilize and protect from illegal hands.

The wildlife officials guiding the National park lack communication gadgets such as, radio cordon, road networks and among them, delayed salaries, forcing some officials to resort to cultivation, which sometimes gives them little time to concentrate on their duties in the park.

Last year, the wildlife authority in Yei River County, burnt to ash game meat of different animals’ species arrested from illegal poachers in the county.

Some game meats are carried to the market in charcoal sacks, to avoid being inspected by the wildlife Authority.

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