Uganda has acquired two tigers from South Africa in exchange for 25 monkeys.
The tigers were imported through the Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC), which shipped them to the country from South Africa for a fee of Sh220,100.
The two were brought from Mystic Monkeys and Feathers Wildlife Park in South Africa.
The acquisition of the two tigers, a male and a female aged two years and three months, makes Uganda the only East African country with tigers.
UWEC Executive Director Dr. James Musinguzi said the last time tigers, the largest members of the cat family, were seen in East Africa was in the ’60s when the facility lost the animals.
“Tigers naturally occur in the wild only in Asia. In Africa, they only appear in zoos and captive settings. One of the challenges we’ve had is people have been confusing the different cats ranging from cheetahs, leopards, and tigers,” Musinguzi said.
“The tiger is an exceptional icon of beauty and strength. Seeing, hearing, and smelling a tiger up-close for the first time can be an unforgettable experience. I want to rally Ugandan to come to see learn and enjoy the tigers.”
Public viewing of the tigers will be open from December 3rd, 2020. Uganda is home to other big cats including lions, leopards, and cheetahs.
“We are yet to give them names, but they consume at least 10 kilograms of meat every day. The feeding cost is Sh150,000,” Musinguzi said.
An adult can weigh up to 363kg and measures up to 3.3m.