Badhaahe authority moves to protect wildlifePhoto | Sawir/Keydka Ergo
The district administration of Badhaadhe has banned the hunting of wildlife in an effort to enable the diversity of the forest lands of Lower Jubba to recover.
Assistant District commissioner Mohamed Muhumed told Radio Ergo the ban covered an area of 180km2 from Badhadhe to Kulbiyow and down to Raskamboni on the Kenyan border.
The move follows the apparent return of herds of wild animals to the area from Kenya.
The district commissioner said hunting wildlife would incur penalties of imprisonment for a month and a fine of $200. Guns would also be confiscated.
The sale of game meat has also been prohibited, with jail terms of 20 days and fines of $100for those breaking the new law.
Among the animals seen to have recently returned to the area are giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, lions, leopards and cheetahs.
The animals were displaced from their natural habitat in Somalia by heavy poaching after the collapse of the central government. Their return from Kenya is thought to be related to the recent operation by Kenya Defence Forces to clear Al-Shabaab from the Boni forest.
Pastoralist communities in Lower Jubba have reported increases in the population of wildlife herds. Some are fearing for their own safety and for their own domestic livestock, but generally the return of the wildlife is welcomed.
Hassan Abdi, a herder in Fiila location 10km from Kulbiyow said: “The last time I saw wildlife of this population was in 1995. I am very happy that the wild animals are back in this area as they are the beauty of our land.”
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