Does This Image Show a Ugandan Man Who Killed a Lion as Alleged?

By Thomas Mukhwana

These images circulating on Twitter claimed that the wounded man had allegedly survived an encounter with a lion in Iganga District, Western Uganda, and survived. A picture posted alongside that of the injured man is of a visibly dead lion, allegedly killed by the man.

Background

On April 9, 2022, the Ugandan Wildlife Authority (UWA) team in Kibale National Park received an emergency call informing them of a stray lion seen in Kagadi District. The lion was reported to have attacked three villagers and killed livestock.

UWA dispatched a team of officers with the aim of capturing and transporting the lion to safety. Upon reaching the area, they found an armed crowd searching for the lion. The lion was found and killed, leaving three villagers and one officer injured.

Hours that followed saw the internet awash with pictures of an injured man and the carcass of a lion claiming that the man had killed the lion for allegedly attacking his family, prompting many to call him ‘Samson’ comically alluding to the Bible story of a strong man who killed a lion by ripping off its jaw.

Verification

Piga Firimbi looked into the claim and established that both images were posted for the first time by Twitter user @Rickykagino96 on April 8, 2022. Both images were taken in Kagadi District after the lion was killed. The injured man in the picture is one of four victims who survived the brutal lion attack. 

The Ugandan Wildlife Authority (UWA)  issued a statement clarifying that the lion was spotted by residents in Kobushera Village, Kagadi District in the Western Region of Uganda.  The lion is reported to have killed livestock and injured three people by the time a search team was deployed in the area.

According to the statement, an officer who was part of the search team shot the lion dead as it attacked another officer who had spotted it and tried to shoot it.

Villagers then went on to skin and share the lion meat among themselves as is seen in pictures that were shared online later that day, leaving the authorities with the lion’s head and skin.

Verdict

The claim that the injured man killed the lion is FALSE.

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