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Hoima Pupils Fear Going to School Over Chimpanzees

As human settlement continues to exert pressure on chimpanzee habitats in the western district of Hoima, there has been a consistent increase in the number of chimpanzee attacks on residents.

Officials are reporting lately that the people most affected by this worsening man- primate relationship, are school going pupils, who have to travel at odd hours because of distance.

Many pupils and students are said to have abandoned school for fear of being attacked and injured by chimpanzees.

Robert Kyomuhendo, an Education officer in Hoima district said the high number of drop outs has had a significant effect on school performance in the district.

“We have been receiving complaints that the chimpanzees attack students on their way to school and back, and also in the school yards,” he said.

Kyomuhendo added that the chimpanzees also compete for fruits with pupils like mangoes, papayas, pineapples and others.

“We have seen some children completely dropping out of school especially the young ones for fear of being attacked by the chimpanzees.”

Kyomuhendo told Chimpreports in Hoima that their call has always been that the Chimpanzees and the people should coexist.

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“As a district we have tried to sensitize our people at all levels on how to behave around chimpanzees when they see them”.

The Chimpanzee Trust, a nongovernmental organization has been sensitizing the people of Hoima on how to live with chimpanzees in an amicable manner.

Dr Joshua Rukundo a senior veterinary doctor at Ngamba Island chimpanzee sanctuary said that once the locals learn the behavior of the chimps, there will be less cases of conflict.

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