On April 20th 2021, the Uganda Wildlife Authority announced through a statement that Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola is to be closed until further notice following continued disagreements between the entities that operate the sanctuary at the moment.
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 great and majestic animals.
It has been a popular stop- over place and a break in the journey to or from Murchison Falls National Park. It started with 6 southern Rhinos in 1997 to now 33 making it one of the most successful breeding programs of endangered animals in the world.
The sanctuary sits on 7,000 hectares and offers other activities like bird watching, shoebill, nature walks, night walks and stork excursions among others.
Before coming up with temporarily closing the sanctuary as a solution, the Uganda Wildlife Authority first took over the security of the Rhinos on April 16th 2021. In its statement, it noted that, “the security of Rhinos cannot be compromised”
That development followed misunderstandings between Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife ranches who own the land the site is on and Rhino fund Uganda, a Ngo that has been managing the rhinos.
Uganda Wildlife Authority further stated that they are not a party in the conflicts and therefore reiterate their impartiality in the matter while stressing their mandate as an institution set to protect the country’s wildlife heritage.