A 2-year-old boy was reportedly kidnapped and killed by chimpanzees in western Uganda over the weekend.
Mujuni Semata, the son of Zabroni Semata, was said to have been kidnapped by chimpanzees on Sunday and died hours after his parents found him lying unconscious in the forest, reports the New Vision.
“We were in the garden burning grass after clearing the fields,” Semata told the newspaper. “As the children and their mother settled down for a late lunch, a group of chimpanzees attacked, taking the child with them.”
Omuhereza Ntegeka, 21, the bereaved mother, said she left two children in the garden to get water from home for one of them to drink, only to find the chimps grabbing the children when she returned.
“They, however, dropped one and sped off with Mujuni,” she said.
Semata told New Vision that he chased the animals until they abandoned the kid, who had been seriously injured.
“The chimp undressed him and ripped him on the lower part of the abdomen, exposing the kidney,” said Semata. “It also banged the child’s head on the ground, opening his skull.”
The child, who was rushed to a local clinic, died on the way to Fort Portal Hospital where they had been advised to go.
Angry residents reported the incident to Muhorro Police Post, calling for a hunt of the animals.
Armed with dozens of spears and panga machetes, residents teamed up with police and began searching for the killer chimps deep in the forest to no avail.
This isn’t the first time chimpanzees have attacked people in the Kibaale district. Last year, one chimp was killed by residents of Mabale village in Bwikara sub-county after a group of chimpanzees attacked three people, including 7-year-old Paddy Ankunanda, who was seriously injured.
The boy and his mother, whose left arm was bitten, were saved by residents, who scared the chimpanzees off with sticks and by ganging up against them.
Photo via New Scientist