Night after night, men infiltrate the forests blanketing northwestern Uganda. They come by boat, paddling east across Lake Albert in canoes made from hollowed out trees, before creeping into the lush undergrowth of the country’s largest protected area, Murchison Falls National Park.
They quickly unload their cargo—cheap wire snares and deadly steel traps repurposed from old car parts. The latter, made locally in Uganda and across the border in Democratic Republic of the Congo, require little skill to use. They’re also powerful enough to snap the leg of an antelope, giraffe, or lion. Animals pinned to the ground may die from a combination of blood loss, dehydration, and starvation. The devices are indiscriminate—they snag any animal that stumbles into them.