SYNOPSIS: Uganda's National Parks and Game Preserves were on considered among the finest in East Africa.
(Long panning shot of park, mtins in bg, antelope grazing, etc)
Scenes of gazelle, loping giraffe, hartebeest, zebra, water buffalo, lions etc)
(Elephant hard moving thru grass)
(Land rover approach;cut to shots of bull elephant crossing road, shot thru window of Rover, then elephant keeping pace with us, trumpeting, looking for all the world like he's ready to charge)
(More elephant herd)
(Standup Take 2)
(Park rangers bracing, having guns inspected, boarding truck/cut to truck moving off)
(Saali interview: this cut from answer to the very first question)
(More scenes of game ending with shot of elephant herd moving away in distance.)
"One of the least publicized acts of President Amin took place last year. He issued an edict saying that any poacher who killed an elephant..and was arrested for it..ran the risk of being shot."
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Background: SYNOPSIS: Uganda's National Parks and Game Preserves were on considered among the finest in East Africa. It may come as a surprise to learn that they still are; All the publicity of recent years surrounding President Idi Amin has tended to make people forget other aspect of Uganda; In Kenya tourists are often told to avoid Uganda Game Parks; That the chaos of the Amin regime has led to wholesale elephant slaughter, and that hardly an elephant can be found any more.
Well, that is simply not true. In this park alone there are nearly a thousand. Tourists can get quite close to them...sometimes a little too close. (PAUSE)
Elephants, of course, are killed for their tusks...the ivory, which sells on the black market for about 25-dollars a pound. That's what makes poaching so attractive... But here, it can be dangerous:
Five of them were, last year, by rangers here at Kidepo National Park. Rangers caught them int he act as it were. The poachers were killed "trying to get away," they say...but even if they had survived, they would have faced death by a firing squad. Its a step way of dealing with the problem...but effective:
Uganda would very much like to have more tourists back; The Amin years have undoubtedly seared many away The government says no tourist would have anything to worry about...and for those who want to see elephants. Right now, they probably outnumber tourists 100 to one.
Fred Briggs, NBC News, Kidepo, Uganda.