Gorilla Tour Uganda

Sorrow In Uganda As Rafiki The Rare Silverback mountain Gorilla Loses Precious Life to Poacher


As Ugandans and many travelers in the world are still nursing the “wounds” inflicted by the Corona Pandemic, Uganda and the tourism community has today the 12th june woken to the sad news about the death of gigantic and friendly Rafiki silverback that was murdered under cold blood in the hands of Byamukama Felix a reknown poacher in Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable national Park.

This is a big blow to conservation tourism, Uganda and the remaining mountain gorillas. Four local men of Nkuringo – mulore village, nteko Parish nyabwishenya subcountry Kisori District have been arrested in connection to the murder and face a fine of $5.4m or life sentence as per the last amended Uganda animal act.

How did it Happen in this era of Lock down?

While the boarder districts of Uganda are still under lockdown including Bwindi forest where the 25 years silverback Rafiki Mountain Gorilla was murdered. Investigations show that the Mountain gorilla was hurtfully speared in the left abdomen and succumbed to internal organ injuries. The poacher told the investigators and Uganda wildlife Authority team that, he and other 3 persons unknowingly encroached Nkuringo Family territory of 17 members while Rafiki being the Silverback and leader of the group charged at them when Felix threw a spear at Rafiki in defence which penetrated Rafiki Gorilla through the left abdomen and injured the internal orgarns.

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The poacher’s confession & Arrest

Byamukama confessed that he had gone hunting with colleages for small bush meat in the Bwindi forest when he confronted Rafiki with a spear that led to his death. On arrest of Byamukama on the 4th june after a tipoff by one of the locals and searched his home, Byamukama felix was found in possession of Bush meat and several hunting devices including Machetes, Rope snares, wire snares and a dog hunting bell that were recovered from his home. Byamukama (Who we now prefer to call a murder), said he has on several occasions poached and shared bush meat with Museveni Valence and mubangizi Yonasi who he confirms are fellow notorious poachers that were in turn arrested on the 7th june 2020.

About The Nkuringo Family Of Mountain Gorillas

The Nkuringo Family of 17 mountain Gorillas is one of the first habituated Gorilla family for human presence southern sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park in 1997 with an aim to generate more conservation Revenue. Rafiki Mountain Gorilla was apparently the only Silverback in the group aged 25years who many visitors that have ascended into the jungles of Bwindi forest in Nkuringo had a chance to meet. “He was always at the Forefront peacefully leading his other friendly family members.

The Nkuringo family of mountain Gorillas consists of 3 black backs (sub adult males), 8 adult females and 3 juveniles. The family is on close watch by the Uganda wildlife authority (UWA) who affirms that the death of Rafiki can easily distabalise the family with possibilities to disintegrate. As if that has not been enough, Uganda and The tourism fraternity in the past 3months during the COVID19 lockdown has also seen the death of 4 mountain gorillas by Lightening. The Mountain Gorillas are a major draw for tourists to the Pearl of Africa while Uganda Wildlife Authority relies on the tourists for the big percentage of revenue.

Read more about Mountain Gorillas in Uganda – The Gentle giants

Our Attributes to Rafiki

Gorilla Walking Safaris would like to extend its condolences to Rafiki the mountain Gorilla Of Bwindi Nkuringo. Rafiki Mountain Gorilla Was one of the most friendly gentle giant in Bwindi impenetrable National park. Nkuringo Family of mountain Gorillas was and has always been our Favorite Family of mountain Gorillas which has always been our first choice for clients who go Gorilla trekking in Uganda impacting positively on Some of our Conservation & Giving back Projects. We have fond memories of Rafiki as a calm & so friendly gentleman during our last farm trip visit to the mountain Gorillas. Rest in Peace Soldier Rafiki, Uganda and Gorilla Walking safaris Team will surely miss you.

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