Kagadi, Uganda | URN | A two-month-old baby girl has died in Kagadi in the Western Region of Uganda after being attacked by a chimpanzee. The deceased has been identified as Aroho Ahumuza, daughter of Kunihira Kasaija, a resident of Karuswiga central cell in Muhorro town council.
The child was attacked by the chimpanzee on Monday 27, March 2023 evening while being carried by her mother. Ahumuza was on her way to harvest cassava when the chimpanzee emerged from the nearby bush, snatched the child from her, and ran back into the bush with the minor.
She sounded an alarm that attracted the attention of area residents, who pursued the chimpanzee. The residents later discovered that the child had been dumped by the chimpanzee in the nearby bush after inflicting on her severe injuries on the head, mouth, and chest.
Kasaija said that the child was rushed to Kagadi Community Health Center for medical attention, but she was pronounced dead a few hours later. He has appealed to the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to intervene and relocate the chimpanzees immediately and compensate him for the loss of his child.
Dr. Julius Birungi of Kagadi Community Health said that the injuries inflicted on the child by the chimpanzee were severe, and he recommended that the child be referred to Mulago for further management but the parent did not have the money for transport. Birungi has tasked UWA to relocate chimpanzees from the Muhorro town council area to reduce human-wildlife conflict cases.
Residents in the area have criticized UWA for doing nothing despite several attacks by chimpanzees. Despite several pleas made to UWA to control the animals from invading the community, nothing has been done. Byonabye Kayiru, a resident of Muhorro, said it is unfortunate for UWA to consider wild animals more important than human beings when lives are being lost.
Joseph Kyalisiima, another resident, said that there is a lot of laxity by UWA officials to keep the animals in the protected zones, and even when they are alerted about the invasion of animals in the community, officials do not act immediately.
Wilson Amanyirwe, the in-charge UWA in the Bunyoro sub-region, said that plans are underway to control animals from invading the community. He has, however, challenged members of the public to desist from harassing and scaring the animals whenever they stray into the community but rather inform them in time.
Chimpanzee attacks on the community have become rampant in the area. In June 2022, a five-year-old boy identified as Mugabe Bikahwa, a resident of Karuswiga central cell in Muhorro town council, was attacked and injured by a chimpanzee. The chimpanzee grabbed the child as he was returning with a group of women and children from fetching water for domestic use.