The Uganda Wildlife Authority [UWA] has started the translocation of 20 giraffes in Murchison Falls National Park in Nwoya District. The exercise that started last week will see the giraffes relocated from the northern banks of the Victoria Nile Park to the southern banks within the expansive Murchison Falls National Park. Mr Jossy Muhangi, UWA spokesperson, confirmed the development to journalists in an interview. Mr Muhangi said the one-week translocation exercise is jointly being conducted by experts from Giraffe Conservation Foundation [GCF] and Uganda Wildlife Education Centre [UWEC].
Recently, UWA received donations of transport logistic equipment worth $37,500 [about Shs131 million] from GCF to boost the conservation agency to carry out the translocation exercise. “This translocation exercise is aimed at increasing the home range population of giraffes in Murchison Falls National Park. It will also help to diversify giraffe species and help boost game drives in the southern banks of the park,” Mr Muhangi said. Mr Muhangi, however, refuted claims that the giraffes are being relocated because of the threat of oil exploration in the northern banks of Murchison Falls National Park.
“There is no threat at the moment on wildlife with the ongoing oil exploration. In future, though we believe that if the oil exploration intensifies, we shall also apply appropriate measures,” Mr Muhangi said. Murchison Falls National Park has an estimated 850 Rothschild’s giraffes. According to UWA, the relocation exercise which is practiced globally will also help manage environment by reducing habitat destruction and allow for the restoration of the degraded ones. In June 2015, UWA relocated 15 giraffes from Murchison Falls National Park to Lake Mburo, National Park in an effort to boost tourism in western Uganda.