Man found with Crocodile Skin, Arrested

Yesterday, a combined operation by Uganda Police, Uganda Wildlife Authority, and Natural Resource Conservation Network resulted in the seizure of three pieces of crocodile skin that were being sold at a man’s residence

The suspect, a 45-year-old peasant farmer named Obote Napoleaon, was taken into custody by Ugandan police after the discovery of the crocodile skin.

The arrest was made at the suspects home which is located in Tetugu ward, Ayeolyec parish, Akokoro subcounty, Apac District.

The suspect admitted guilt in his statement, adding things like “I slaughtered the crocodiles and already ate the flesh.”

Obote is heard on a recording that was discovered explaining how he killed the crocodile and how he plans to deliver the crocodile skin to the buyers

Offenders convicted of crimes related to species classified as extinct in the wild or critically endangered face the highest penalty under Uganda’s Wildlife Act 2019, which is either a UGX20-billion (approximately US$5.5-million) fine or life imprisonment, or both, depending on the circumstances of the crime. The act was passed in 2019.

In Uganda, there have been sightings of three different crocodile species. Up to the 1950s, there were reports of the dwarf crocodile, Osteolaemus tetraspis, living in rivers that flowed into Lake George. It has not been seen in recent times, and it is probable that it has become extinct in Uganda. However, there is a chance that it might still be alive in the marsh that is located to the north of Lake George in Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP).

Outside of protected areas, crocodiles face a number of dangers. They are often killed since they are considered to be a danger to humans, and the fishermen who work on Lake Victoria and Albert are especially at risk from them. Even though they are not in immediate danger in Protected Areas, there is still a great deal that we do not understand about the creatures that live there.

Crocodiles, for instance, have been seen in soak-away pits of water at drilling sites in Murchison Falls National Park. These pits are typically located a few kilometres away from the river. They are clearly travelling quite a distance throughout the night across land, but the reason for their movement remains a mystery to us. Despite the fact that the 10-year licence had expired in the early 2000s, the collection of eggs for the purpose of crocodile farming is being carried out in the Murchison Falls National Park.