Kampala, Uganda — A new bird sanctuary for the endangered African grey parrots was opened at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) also known as Entebbe Zoo. The shs37 million aviaries were funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and are specially built as an outdoor facility covering 200 square metres.
The facility currently houses 119 African grey parrots that were confiscated earlier this year by a Congolese national at Uganda Wildlife Authority at the Bunagana border. The Congolese national, Bobs Mbaya Kabongo has since been sentenced to a seven-year jail term.
According to UWEC Executive Director Dr James Musinguzi, the new aviary will provide a link with UWEC’s work in the country which involves breeding for conservation and commercial purposes, a role he said enables the centre to build a healthy and viable animal population as a backup for endangered species for both research and conservation purposes.
“The aviary will help birds fly freely as they regain their instincts ahead of their release to suitable wildlife habitats,” Dr Musinguzi said. According to Uchiyama Takayuki, JICA Uganda’s chief representative, the facility will play a great role in Uganda’s conservation efforts. “This is part of the African grey parrot conservation project aimed at preserving the rich wildlife in Africa which contributes to tourism but also gives quality conservation education to Ugandans. JICA and Uganda will embark on wildlife exchange programs through this project,” Takayuki said.