The Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN) wildlife law enforcement team in conjunction with the Uganda Police recently arrested Deus Mugisha with 40kgs of mature hippo ivory at Kayanzi Landing site and Fishing Village.
The 40-year old suspect, a resident of Mbarara, is currently detained at Kasese police division awaiting prosecution. According to sources Mugisha has always played the role of a middleman linked to various renowned traffickers from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Insatiable demand for Hippo ivory from East and Southeast Asia, particularly in China and Vietnam, has been the primary factor leading to the decrease in their numbers, and intelligence information with the NRCN indicates that poaching has been on for decades leading to the killing of thousands of Hippos in the areas of Kasese.
Hippos are categorized under part B (cap 198) under the game and preservation control of 1959 and are not to be hunted or captured except after authorization.
Hippos are now listed in Appendix1 by the Convention on International Trade of wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), with hippo teeth or ivory and Pangolin scales also used as substitutes to Elephant Ivory.