Chimpanzee snatches baby from Masindi mother


In the rural village of Maramu, situated in Masindi district's Bodongo sub-county, a harrowing incident transpired when a mischievous chimpanzee, concealed in the forested surroundings along a footpath to a water source, ambushed Agnes Azaru, seizing her four-month-old baby during an evening water-fetching routine.

Azaru, using her strength and quick thinking, managed to rescue her baby from the clutches of the chimp, but not without consequences. The infant suffered injuries, particularly to its private parts, causing distress and bitterness for the mother.

The injured baby is currently under treatment at Masindi Kitara Hospital, with hopes for a full recovery. However, concerns linger over the family's ability to cover the medical expenses and sustain themselves during the hospitalization period.

In her plea for assistance, Azaru appeals for financial support from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and implores the government to construct water sources to prevent such incidents. Dr. Michael Otaro, the treating physician, emphasizes the sensitivity of the injuries, requiring adequate time for proper management.

Julius Kyahura, the chairperson of Budongo sub-county, underscores the recurring issue of chimpanzees seizing children and criticizes the inadequate response from UWA. The sub-county is taking proactive measures by constructing boreholes near the forests to minimize such attacks. District chairperson Cosmas Byaruhanga expresses concern, notifying UWA officials and advising the family to pursue legal avenues for compensation.

Despite conflicting information, Fred Kiiza, the chief warden of Murchison Falls National Park, promises to investigate the incident, pledging to cover medical expenses once properly informed. He underscores the need to determine if the chimp was in its habitat or involved in poaching, emphasizing the importance of appropriate compensation.

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