When Tutilo left his home village in rural Uganda to attend school in the capital of Kampala, he joined a wildlife club as a way of connecting with people who held similar interests. Through the club, he got to visit several national parks and meet conservationists, really solidifying his decision to embark on conservation as a career path. His decision to pursue wildlife conservation was born from a belief that he could make a difference for wildlife and people and enable them to live harmoniously together. He also wanted to find a sustainable solution that would allow people to earn their livelihoods without being negatively impacted by the wildlife around them.
Years later, Tutilo got the chance to put his ambition into action by working with the Wildlife Conservation Society. His work involved long-term lion monitoring projects throughout Uganda, working to generate income for law enforcement officials who monitored poaching near national parks in the region, and providing additional sources of income for local people living on the borders of the parks. Tutilo also began to focus his interest on lions in particular because of their rapid population decline. He considers lions to be a symbol of wildlife conservation across Africa and this continues to be his area of study for his PhD program. Tutilo has already started his PhD at Michigan State University, studying the ecology of lions and the effect that wire snares have on their populations. Through his work, he wants to empower the next generation of conservationists, not only in Uganda, but throughout all of Africa. Improving the relationship between lions and humans is also on his list of things he hopes to accomplish soon, as well as improving the gaps that currently exist within law enforcement in regards to poaching. Tutilo’s work has already shown that he’s well on his way towards achieving his goals, and we are thrilled to be able to support him.