Attempts to flush out Uganda's Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group's leader, Joseph Kony, have not been very successful. Instead, the civilian casualties continue to pile up. One devastating tragedy for wildlife conservation, as reported on the conservation blog Baraza, was the attack on Garamba National Park rangers by the LRA rebels on 2 January 2009.
According to a press statement issued by the authorities at Garamba National Park on 6 January and distributed by WildlifeDirect, the rebels killed 8 people including 2 rangers and 2 wives of wardens in addition to causing untold damage to property. A debate has however ensued on Baraza as to who is indeed responsible for the attack.
In Kenya, the Whale Sharks blog reports an incident in Diani Beach on Kenya's Indian Ocean coastline where a Humpback Whale was caught in a fishing net donated to the local fishermen by a development NGO. This post is actually a protest since the Whale Shark Trust that runs this blog believe that the nets are inappropriate and illegal. They have reported a similar tragic entanglement of humpback whales before in their blog and are calling for intervention.
Still in Kenya, a bizarre occurrence has been reported in Samburu where a leopard preyed on another leopard. This case of cannibalism is indeed shocking. Cannibalism among mammals is reported occasionally but it commonly involves killing and eating of young (infanticide) by male animals to eliminate competition. The Ewaso Lions blog describes this incident here.
On a brighter note, 2009 is the year of the gorilla. Gorilla Protection blog introduces readers to the actions that have already been taken to kick start the celebration of this majestic Great Ape.