Ugandan Police Officer Traumatized By Confrontation With 'Aggressive' Tortoise

| by Jonathan Wolfe

Tortoises may not have an aggressive reputation, but the slow-moving, long-aging animals can apparently get pretty nasty.

The Ugandan daily newspaper New Vision reported yesterday that a police officer in the country’s Nebbi district shot and killed an aggressive tortoise in his home recently.

“I tried to scare it but the tortoise became very aggressive,” Officer Charles Onegiu recalled. “I took a stick to chase it but it instead became more violent making me to make alarm.”

Onegiu first picked up a chair to defend himself from the reptile.

“I immediately picked a plastic chair to hit it. It then got out of the hut and moved towards the latrine as people rushed to my rescue,” he said. “When [the tortoise] came out, I reached for my gun and shot it dead. It was a very big white tortoise. As I talk now, I am still scared because it is the first time I have seen such an incident happen in my life or heard of one.”

The police chief from the region said the officers trigger-happy reaction may have been due to superstitious beliefs that an animal attacking you may mean someone is out to get you.

A local group prayed with Onegiu following the shooting and then burned the animal’s body to ashes.

Source: New Vision