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Lone elephant elders were first spotted exploring their old territories,

and Akuoch noted, ‘when they see the region is at peace and that

no one shoots them, they bring back their whole family’.



Wild Life Returns En Masse to South Sudan

By Ngor Arol Gerang


Hippos’ tunnel-like paths have been found in tall grass and mud as evidenced by the deep footprints the hippos made as they exited Boma to nearby, papyrus-covered islands, the warden training officer in the Government of Southern Sudan Ministry of Wild Life, Conservation and Tourism, Mr Lomoro Wande has said on Friday after a ministerial briefing at the Juba Raha Hotel.

He further added that few animals can dislodge a large herd of these fierce beasts except maybe an even larger herd of elephants. He said that he had received a report that there were some 50 elephants peacefully grazing on their newly reclaimed territory of Boma.

‘It’s like a miracle to see these animals return’, said James Loro, a former Minister of Wilde Life,  Conservation and Tourism in his office a month ago after returning from Nimule where he had gone to graduate wardens.

Sudan’s 22-year civil war between North and South, Africa’s longest and bloodiest conflict drove out nearly all the south’s elephants along with large numbers of other wildlife.

Earlier, the officers said that after two years of relative peace, most of the animals are reported to have come back to this area of south Sudan in one of the world’s most dramatic movements of animals. He said that wildlife services estimate 7,000 elephants have returned, along with some 1,500 giraffes and about 500 oryx antelopes, both thought to have left the country forever. Lions, leopards and a wide variety of gazelles, some of them unique to Sudan, are being spotted too.

In a February aerial survey, the Government of Southern Sudan in collaboration with a US based Wildlife Conservation Society estimated that herds of antelope and gazelle numbered 1.3 million are believed to have returned to Southern Sudan.

‘We’re at peace with them and they don’t mind us’, said Okot Joseph from Nimule at a press interview at the Juba Post office.

The largest mammals on earth, elephants live in herds that migrate through vast territories. They can live for decades, and their memory is legendary. Wardens in Nimule say about 350 elephants have crossed over the Ugandan border into the Nimule Park.

The Southerner’s pride in the majestic animals is clear. The wardens insist that only herds originally from the area have returned, saying the elephants were driven by a desire to come home, since there is no threat of violence chasing them out of neighbouring Uganda or Kenya.

‘If they are coming back, it’s because they know where their homeland is’, said Maj Gen Alfred Akuoch, the Undersecretary of south Sudan’s Ministry of Environment, Wildlife Conservation and Tourism yesterday in the same Ministerial briefing at the Juba Hotel.

Lone elephant elders were first spotted exploring their old territories, and Akuoch noted, ‘when they see the region is at peace and that no one shoots them, they bring back their whole family’.

During an interview with Pagan Amum, the SPLM Secretary General, at Juba TV said ‘we are hoping that if peace holds, tourism can help fund our growing economy. He further went on to say that the government of Southern Sudan through its Ministry of Wild Life Conservation and Tourism plans to open a safari lodge at Nimule next year and hopes to attract 1,000 tourists in the first year.

He further added that the government is also planning to reopen a dozen national parks throughout south Sudan where the estimated human population of 8 million is vastly outnumbered by wild animals. He continued to say that not all animals have been killed or chased out by the war. Large herds took refuge from the battles and from poachers in a vast, impenetrable zone of swamps in south Sudan’s heartland known as the Sudd.

Major Alfred Isaac, Wardens Officer in Nimule, vows to protect the elephant herds from poachers in the 1,000 square kilometer (400 square miles ) park. He said that we have trained 190 wardens but this number is from former SPLM soldiers who are now equipped with 20 automatic rifles, one jeep and two motorcycles. He said wildlife has been his passion since he was a child, listening to village elders tell stories of the animals. ‘there was the elephant, the hare and nasty Mr Hyena’, he chuckled. ‘we have always lived side by side with these animals’.

Standing at a spot overlooking Nimule Park’s vast savannah, he pointed toward the bend in the river where elephants grazed. ‘We want to make sure they stay’, he said.

Source: Juba Post (23-30 November 2007), p. 11. Published from Juba, South Sudan

Related links: Sudan Tribune / PBS / Live Science / Truthout

posted 6 December 2007

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 5 February 2012




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