Chimpanzee meat feast raises Ebola scare in Kasese
Saturday, 18 August 2012 10:44http://thecitizen.co.tz/news/49-general-elections-news/24978-chimpanzee-meat-feast-raises-ebola-scare-in-kasese.html
By Thembo Kahungu Misairi
The Citizen Correspondent
Kasese, Uganda. An Ebola scare has hit Kasese District following an incident on Sunday when residents of Buhunga Village in Kilembe Sub-county killed a chimpanzee that had strayed from the park and shared the meat.
Despite calls by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to residents not to eat the chimpanzee because it may be the cause of the Ebola virus, the residents were busy roasting and feasting on the bush meat.
According to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park Law enforcement Officer Mr Rujumba Bwambale, the chimpanzee strayed out of the park on Saturday evening and on reaching the community, it was hunted down and killed.
Mr Rujumba warned people not to eat the wild animal for fear of being the source of the deadly Ebola virus that is said to be from the monkey family where chimpanzees belong.
“I tried my best on behalf of UWA to warn people against eating the meat but they went on and ate it. I sounded out warnings immediately I heard of the information but no one has surrendered the meat.
UWA is not responsible for whatever happens there after,” Mr Rujumba said.He said although it is not confirmed that the chimpanzees carry the Ebola virus, it was important for people not to feed on their meat for their safety and wildlife conservation.
Mr Rujumba says by the time he reached the scene with security personnel, the hunters had carried away most of the meat.
About one kilogramme was recovered and later transferred to the Virus centre in Entebbe for proper tests to check for any traces of Ebola.