Four Men Arrested for Killing Silverback Gorilla in Bwindi
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and is situated along with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) border next to the Virunga National Park and on the edge of the Albertine Rift. Composed of 321 square kilometers (124 sq mi) of both montane and lowland forest, it is accessible only on foot.
The park is a UNESCO world heritage site near Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a 120 square mile patch of dense tropical forest that is home to primates, elephants, antelopes, and other wildlife.
The hunting and the killing of the gorillas were last reported in 2011 June, according to the International Gorilla Conservation Programme. But there are signs that poaching in gorilla parks has increased in recent months, as tourism has fallen because of the coronavirus pandemic, see the best places to visit after Covid19 and all these places can be accessed on Self Drive safari in Uganda or Guided Uganda Safari
According to the press release at the twitter handle of Uganda Wildlife Authority, it arrested four men who have been detained in connection with the killing of a 25-year-old male gorilla that was hugely popular with tourists.
The arrests followed UWA’s investigation of Rafiki’s death “after a post-mortem report revealed that the Silverback sustained an injury by a sharp device/object that penetrated its left upper part of the abdomen up to the internal organs.” Rangers found Rafiki’s body on June 2, a day after he was reported missing in the park.
The Silverback gorilla, named Rafiki, was killed in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park after going missing on June 1. His body was found the next day.
Byamukama Felix confessed to killing the gorilla in self-defense, the authority said. Mr. Felix said that he had gone hunting in the park with another poacher, Bampabenda Evarist when they came across the Nkuringo gorillas.
Rafiki charged, and Mr. Felix speared him, the authority said. Mr. Felix, who is from the western Ugandan village of Murole, was found with bush pig meat as well as several hunting devices, including a spear, rope snares, wire snares, and a hunting bell for a dog collar. Rafiki was head of a 17-member gorilla group called Nkuringo Sector which sector is considered as the hardest sector when it comes to gorilla trekking in Uganda.
Mr. Felix said that he had shared some of the bushpig meat with two other poachers, Museveni Valence and Mubangizi Yonasi, who were arrested on June 7, the authority said.
In a statement on Friday, the authority said that the four men were being held at a police station and were awaiting trial before a court of Competent Jurisdiction.