Monday, March 8, 2010


A 39-year-old wildlife officer at the Bui National Park, Mr Seidu Mahama, sustained multiple bullet wounds when he was shot at by an unidentified poacher in the game reserve last Saturday.
Mr Mahama, a Technical Assistant of the Wildlife Division, was on duty at the park when the poacher opened fire on him and escaped.
He was in the company of a team of surveyors from Rudan Engineering Ltd who carried him to the Wenchi Methodist Hospital where he is said to be responding to treatment.
The engineering company has been contracted by the Bui Power Authority (BPA) to carry out a study on the boundary lines of the Bui National Park upon completion of the Bui Dam Project.
Mr Samuel Akonor, the Park Manager, who confirmed the story to the Daily Graphic, said the poachers had become a major hindrance to the management of the Bui National Park.
"We are happy that the officer is responding to treatment. These are some of the challenges we face every day at the hands of poachers," he said.
According to him, the shooting was carried out to instil fear in wildlife officers so that they would abandon their intensive surveillance at the park.
The park manager urged stakeholders in the communities surrounding the Bui National Park to collaborate with his outfit to protect the area.
Sources close to security operatives in the area told the Daily Graphic that the suspect was an Ivorian hunter from Zalga, an Ivorian village near Dokakyina in the Tain District of the Brong Ahafo Region.
They suggested the need for the government to exhaust all diplomatic means to bring the offender to book.
It would be recalled that some Ivorians were arrested two years ago for illegal chainsaw operations in the reserve.
Based on this, people living in the area have made an urgent appeal to the various security agencies to scale up their patrol at Sampa in the Jaman North District, which shares a common boundary with the Tain District to prevent skirmishes on the Ghana-Ivorian border in the districts effectively.
The Bui National Park stretches over an area of about 1, 821 kilometre square and residents have called on the government to equip wildlife officers to protect the reserve, which they say is a national heritage, from intrusion by foreigners.

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