Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials have finally captured a giant man-eating crocodile believed to have been terrorising locals of Bwema along Lake Victoria shore in Buvuma District.
The 750-kilogram crocodile which is estimated to be about 75 years was captured on Sunday after months of failed attempts.
Locals said that the crocodile had claimed lives of five people in the area, with the recent victim being Henry Muluti, who was buried in August.
“We were three on the boat when the crocodile attacked my brother while we were fishing on the lake. We tried to save him but failed,” Godfrey Luwagga a brother to the deceased said.
Locals also disclosed that the same crocodile had been attacking their domestic animals including ducks, goats and dogs, and that they had been living in fear.
Following several outcries from the locals, UWA officials camped in the area for a week before finally capturing the giant crocodile on Sunday.
Upon capturing it, the giant crocodile was brought to the shore as locals looked on in relief.
Speaking after securing the crocodile, Chris Mugabo an official from UWA said the hunt for the predator had been on for the last two years but they had until Sunday failed to capture it.
“We have tried several times to capture it but all in vain. However, when we came back today, we tried by all means to catch it because it had claimed many lives,” Mugabo said.
Meanwhile, the police commander for Bwema, Paul Mpooya blamed the attacks on fishermen he says encroach on the crocodiles’ habitat.
“For instance, the deceased from Misoozi, after retrieving his body, it was discovered that indeed he had been attacked by the crocodile. However, government could not compensate his family because he had been involved in poor fishing,” Mpooya said.
Meanwhile, after securing it, the crocodile was taken to Karuma Murchison Falls where it will be kept.
In recent years, there have been increasing reported cases of crocodile attacks on humans in the country especially along the shores of Lake Victoria.
In 2005, a crocodile named “Osama” that lived on L.Victoria was captured after having reportedly eaten about 80 people during its 14-year reign of terror, between 1991 to 2005.
Most of the attacks according to experts, are attributed to human encroachment on crocodile habitats particularly mangrove swamps.