Poachers have reportedly killed Sgt. Emmanuel Matsipa, a game ranger attached to Kibale National park. The death of Matsipa was confirmed by Bashir Hangi, the communications manager of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
According to Hangi, the deceased and five colleagues were ambushed by five armed poachers at Kanyantare in Kyenjojo within Kibale National Park who opened fire killing him instantly. The team responded with fire, killing one of the poachers while the others fled.
The Executive Director, UWA Sam Mwandha was disheartened to hear that Sgt. Matsipa had met his death at the hands of the armed poachers while on duty.
“It was unfortunate to lose staff to armed gangs. We have lost another hero. The increasing numbers of wildlife throughout the country is because of selfless people like Matsipa. We shall remember Sgt. Matsipa as a brave ranger who put his country first, ending up trading his life for wildlife,” he said.
The late Sgt. Matsipa has been described as a hard-working and selfless commander. He executed his work diligently and was an inspiration to many.
“The institution will greatly miss his commitment, hard work, bravery and passion for conservation. His death and others who have died at the hands of armed poachers shows the hostile environment in which we operate to protect and conserve Uganda’s wildlife heritage. That notwithstanding, we are even motivated further to protect our wildlife heritage for which he and others paid the ultimate price,” he said.
“Conserving our wildlife resources remains a risky undertaking. Game rangers put their lives on the line day and night in executing our mandate and we call upon the public and especially the communities neighbouring protected areas to support them in the cause.”
“We should not allow a few selfish individuals to decimate our wildlife for personal benefit at the expense of all Ugandans. Poaching steals from us all.”
The late Sgt. Matsipa Emmanual served UWA for 23 years having joined the institution on 1st February 1997 as a tourist guide in Semliki Wildlife Reserve. He was redeployed to law enforcement as a ranger in 1999 and his hard work, dedication and commitment to conservation saw him rise through the ranks to Sergeant at the time of his death. He leaves behind a window and seven children.