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Ugandan Conservationists Saddened As 62-year-old Crocodile Passes; 'The Man Eater' Ate Over 80 Fishermen

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MPIGI, Uganda -- Wildlife conservatives were saddened when one of the oldest crocodiles in the country was found dead on Friday at Buwama Crocodile Farm on Masaka Road in Mpigi district.

The 62-year-old crocodile, also called “the man eater,’’ was believed to have mauled more than 80 fishermen in Bugiri district since 1983.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials, assisted by fishermen, captured it from Lugaga swamp in Bugiri in March 2005 and relocated it to Buwama.

Weighing one tonne at the time of it was captured, it had remained elusive to armed squads of vermin control officials.

Although, the fishermen wanted it killed to avenge the death of their colleagues, UWA and the authorities at the Buwama farm on the shores of Lake Victoria gave it another chance to life.

“It was in a secure place and its death is something I did not expect,’’ said an UWA official who preferred anonymity.

“It is also unfortunate because I do not want any crocodile to die.” “We are sad over the death of the crocodile,’’ said Alex Mutamba, a manager at the farm.

“It is also bad that it mauled people before it was brought here, but all this occurred because its territory was under invasion.’’

The people had invaded the crocodile’s territory by engaging in over fishing, something that deprived the crocodile of its source of food, according to the wildlife authority sources.

Mutamba added that the crocodile was popular with tourists from Kampala and Masaka.

Makerere University pathologists conducted a postmortem, but results have not been released. Sources believe the cause of death was stress-related. The crocodile was buried on Saturday.


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