The loss of any Endangered Species of wildlife is always a matter that cannot be taken lightly. Hence, the sudden death of 11 tree-climbing lions in a national park in Uganda has got the authorities worried. The animals were apparently healthy and were not suffering from any disease. Prima facie, they have been poisoned.

Sky News reports that the dead included three lionesses and eight cubs. According to preliminary investigations conducted by Uganda Wildlife Authority, the deaths seem to be the result of a man-animal conflict. Villagers had killed the lions because they felt the wildlife had snatched one of their cows.

Endangered species need protection

Wildlife is under threat all over the world. Many of them are hunted by poachers for their body parts that are believed to possess special powers. Others fall prey to hunters who hunt them for trophies. However, the majority of these animals are lost due to the man-animal conflict which can be attributed to man encroaching into territories meant for wildlife. The gradual decline in their numbers brand them endangered species which is what happened in the national park in Uganda.

The park is home to more than 200 lions, and some of them are the tree-climbing lions.

There are some local communities who live within the park boundaries, and it's difficult to just relocate them in order to ensure the safety of the animals. The abundance of wildlife attracts tourists and loss of animals will often affect the tourism potential of the Sub-Saharan African regions.

Man is responsible for the conflict

The conflict between man and animals is growing every day and the reason is the attitude of humankind, whose developmental needs are depriving the animals of their natural habitats.

As the forest cover disappears, the animals venture out of their known surroundings and enter human settlements in search of prey. This is an avoidable situation.

Another factor that leads to man-animal conflict is the climate. Global warming results in sudden weather conditions that cause wildfires which destroy the green cover and displaces the animals from their natural habitats. The same goes for cases of flash floods.

The animals migrate to nearby human settlements and the stage is set for conflict situations.

The death of the tree-climbing lions in Uganda is the latest example of such a conflict. It is reported to have been a retaliatory action taken by humans against the animals who had killed a cow. The lions belong to an endangered species and the tragedy should have been avoided. Recovery will take a long time because three of the dead were lionesses.

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