Statement on the elephant accident on Friday 16th November 2012 near Pakwach

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During the night of Friday 16th November 2012, an over—speeding bus knocked dead an elephant that was crossing the road before overturning several timesleading to the deaths of very many people. Uganda Wildlife Authority extends its utmost sympathies to the families of the people who died in the accident and those who suffered injuries.

Nevertheless, Uganda Wildlife Authority would like to remind motorists that it is ILLEGAL to over-speed when driving near or inside the national parks. The wildlife law puts the speed limit at 40km per hour as long as you are driving near or inside a national park.

Some sections of the media and public have questioned why Uganda Wildlife Authority does not stop the animals from roaming in the roads.

UWA would like to inform the public that in the national parks the animals have RIGHT OF WAY, and that is why the speed limit is 40km per hour. Because some highways were constructed in the middle of national parks, the presence of wild animals on these roads cannot be avoided. Motorists are supposed to be able to immediately stop should they find animals crossing the highway.

HOOTING inside the national parks is also strictly prohibited and it is punishable by law. Uganda Wildlife Authority will work closely with the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to replace all the sign posts warning motorists to reduce speed when driving on sections of highways passing through the national parks.

Highways that pass through or near the national parks include the Pakwach-Karuma highway, the Masaka-Mbarara highway, the Mubende-FortPortaI highway and the Mbarara-Kasese highway.

Finally, Uganda Wildlife Authority invites the public to visit the national parks this festive season and enjoy some relaxation after a long and tedious year.

Dr. Andrew G. Seguya
Ag. Executive Director
Uganda Wildlife Authority
Conserving for Generations

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