KAMPALA (Uganda): A chimpanzee snatched a baby from a woman in the town of Kagadi in western Uganda and killed it.
The two-month-old baby girl, identified as Aroho Ahumuza, was being carried by her mother on her way to harvest cassava late Monday when the chimpanzee emerged from the nearby bush, snatched the child from her, and ran back into the bush with the infant.
The woman sounded an alarm which attracted the attention of area residents, who pursued the chimpanzee but later discovered the child dumped in the nearby bush with severe head injuries.
“Villagers rushed to help, but it was too late because the baby was already in the hands of chimpanzee. The child was recovered and rushed to Kagadi Community Health Center for medical attention, but she was pronounced dead a few hours later,” reported Anadolu Agency quoting Kunihira Kasaija, the child’s father.
Dr Julius Birungi of the Kagadi Community Health Centre said the injuries inflicted on the child by the chimpanzee were severe.
Kasaija said he has appealed to the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), a government agency that conserves and manages Uganda’s wildlife, to intervene and relocate the area’s chimpanzees immediately and compensate him for the loss of his child.
Kagadi is not far away from Kibale National Park, which harbours the biggest population of chimpanzees in Africa, and cases of human-wildlife conflict are not uncommon.
Residents in the area have criticised the UWA for laxity despite several attacks by chimpanzees. In June 2022, a five-year-old boy was grabbed and injured as he was returning with a group of women and children from fetching water for household use.
Wilson Amanyirwe, the head of the UWA in the Bunyoro sub-region, said plans are underway to prevent animals from invading the community. -Bernama