Uganda has warned that anyone who kills the endangered crested crane the bird which is the country’s national emblem will face a life term in jail.

The government has also said that a hefty fine of 20bn Ugandan shillings ($5.7m; £4.1m) will be imposed on those found guilty. The crested crane is cherished in Uganda and is illustrated in its national flag.

Uganda’s Commissioner for Wildlife George Owoyesigire says the bird is now endangered because of destruction to its habitat, among other factors.

There are about 8,000 crested cranes left in Uganda, down from 35,000 in 1989, according to the ministry.