Operation Bartow: Successful Multi-Agency Effort Leads to Rescue of Ground Pangolin

Operation Bartow reflects a successful multi-agency operation led by the Uganda Wildlife Crime Unit (UWCU) that culminated in the arrest of two suspects who unlawfully supplied a live Ground Pangolin.

On Thursday, June 20, 2024, operatives attached to the UWCU concluded an investigation into a group of traffickers offering a live Pangolin for sale. The team traveled to Soroti, central Uganda, posing as potential buyers to meet with the traffickers. Upon confirming the presence of the animal, an arrest team, including colleagues from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Uganda Police Force (UPF), moved in to make the arrests and seize the animal. Additionally, a motorcycle used to transport the suspects and the Pangolin was confiscated.

The rescued animal is an adult male Ground Pangolin, found in a backpack with significant injuries to its head and body inflicted by the traffickers. The SWCU team administered emergency first aid, and the Pangolin, now mobile, is currently en route to Kampala for further treatment by UWA veterinary experts.

The UWCU’s prompt response to intelligence has once again highlighted their capability to rescue live animals and apprehend those who exploit wildlife for personal gain. This swift action undoubtedly saved the Pangolin from further mistreatment.

The suspects are in custody in Soroti, pending the completion of the investigation. They will be transferred to Kampala Central Police Station and will appear before the Special Wildlife Crime Court in Kampala.

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