A 36-year-old poacher who went missing inside Murchison Falls national park in Nwoya district has been found dead.
Geoffrey Ongwech disappeared on Friday last week inside the national park in Purongo sub-county where he had illegally entered with a colleague to check snares they set for trapping wildlife.
According to reports, the deceased after checking on the first snare left his accomplice and proceeded to check another snare but never returned. Ben Okot, the Purongo sub-county chairperson told URN in an interview Wednesday that Ongwech's body was discovered on Tuesday afternoon, five days after he went missing.
“His body was retrieved yesterday inside the national park and has been handed to the relatives for burial,” says Okot.
The Aswa River Region police spokesperson David Ongom Mudong in a statement issued noted preliminary findings indicate the deceased was trampled to death by elephants. He notes that according to reports, after disappearing from his colleagues, Ongwech wandered into a herd of elephants and allegedly trampled to death.
Mudong says the decomposed body of Ongwech was later retrieved by a joint force of police and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) pending postmortem to ascertain the exact cause of death.
This is the fifth incident in which poachers have gone missing inside the national park in Nwoya district in less than five months this year. In July, four suspected poachers also disappeared inside the conservation area but their bodies have not been recovered to date.
The quartet who are presumed dead were identified by local leaders as Geoffrey Ojok, 28, Goodwill Ojok, 42, Bosco Ocaya, 32, and Francis Komakech, 29, all residents of Agung village in Anaka sub county.