Popular tourist destination in Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park, was struck by tragedy when a ranger by the name of Sergeant Scot Guma was killed by elephants while in the line of duty to rescue communities of Nwoya district outside the park on November 15, 2020.
According to Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Public Relations Officer Gesa Simplicious, the fallen Sergeant together with four colleagues had earlier responded to a distress call that elephants had strayed from the park. As they tried to scare shoot the elephants, the beasts turned aggressive forcing the rangers to flee for cover and attempt to reorganize themselves.
Unfortunately, in the process, Sergeant Guma fell into a shallow ditch and was trampled by the elephants, leaving him mortally wounded.
He died while being rushed to Anaka for medical attention.
The Executive Director of UWA, Sam Mwandha, said that the late Sergeant Guma had been a hard-working and selfless staff who executed his work well while handling human wildlife conflict and operational work of patrols.
“The institution will greatly miss his commitment, hard work, bravery, and passion for conservation. He has paid the ultimate price of conserving our wildlife resources. He is a conservation hero,” said Mwandha.
Rangers at Wangkwar sector where Sergeant Guma was stationed have been very active in offering quick problem animal interventions to communities surrounding that sector.
The late Sergeant Guma Scot joined UWA on May 1, 1999 as a private ranger, rising through the ranks to Sergeant. Before his deployment in Murchison Falls National Park, he had worked in East Madi Wildlife Reserve for 10 years handling issues of problem animals like elephants and hippos as far as the border of South Sudan as well as encroachment, among others. He is survived by a widow and four children. May his soul rest in peace.