The heaviest penalty ever given for such offences in Ugandan history was life in prison for an ivory trading.
2019 saw the passage of a new law that increased the penalties for trafficking in or poaching from endangered species
In January of this year, Pascal Ochiba was detained with two pieces of ivory that together weighed almost 10kg (22lb).
The magistrate ruled that Ochiba should spend the rest of his life in prison as a result of his history of crimes against wildlife.
According to a release from the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the chief magistrate of the nation’s special wildlife court, Gladys Kamasanyu, remarked in passing judgment that “offences of unlawful possession of protected species are rampant and there is need to curb them” (UWA).
“This is a landmark achievement in our war on illegal wildlife trade in Uganda. We must do our best in our times to protect our wildlife, otherwise history will judge us harshly,” UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha said.
The hunter who murdered Rafiki, a silverback gorilla, was given an 11-year term in 2020.
Two guys were each given an eight-year prison term in September of this year for the murder of six endangered tree-climbing lions.
In Uganda, there are only slightly more than 7,900 elephants living in the wild, including both forest and savannah elephants.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists savannah elephants as endangered and classifies forest elephants as critically endangered.
Since the 1990s, the nation’s elephant population has increased. Mammals are still at risk from trafficking and poaching, though.
Ochiba had already been imprisoned in 2017 after being found in possession of four pieces of ivory and the skin of an Okapi.
Only the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to the endangered okapi, which resembles a zebra.