Uganda: Man Who Killed Rafiki, Uganda's Rare Silverback Mountain Gorilla, Jailed

01 Août, 2020, 16:43 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Man who killed Rafiki, Uganda's rare silverback mountain gorilla, jailed

Besides the killing of Rafiki, poachers in recent weeks have mostly hunted smaller animals, such as antelope, probably to eat them rather than for trading.

Poacher who killed a silverback gorilla in Bwindi impenetrable national park last month has been sentenced to 11 years in jail.

The gorilla - identified as Rafiki, which suggests "mate" in Swahili - was portion of the famed Nkuringo gorilla team that lives in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is hugely well-known with travellers.

Sam Mwandha, executive director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, welcomed the court's decision, saying, "Rafiki has received justice".

On June 1, 2020, Rafiki, the rare silverback mountain gorrilla belonging to Nkuringo group was reported missing.

A post mortem found that the gorilla sustained an injury by a sharp object that penetrated its left upper part of the abdomen up to the internal organs, according to the UWA.

In the first case file, the Chief Magistrate, Julius Borere sentenced Byamukama to five, six and five years respectively.

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"We are happy that justice has been done and Rafiki will rest in peace", UWA spokesman Bashir Hangi told dpa, adding he hoped the verdict "will serve as an eye opener to anybody engaged in wildlife poaching".

An arrest was made on June 4, and authorities said the man was in possession of several hunting items, including a spear and snares. He was traveling with three other men who are still waiting for their trial.

Mwandha further says that the new law (Wildlife Act 2019) is tough and that anyone involved in illegal wildlife activities will face the wrath of the law.

Mountain gorillas are threatened.

The gorillas weigh up to 440lbs and have thicker fur than other great apes, meaning they can survive in colder mountain temperatures.

Bwindi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Uganda's border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is home to about half the world's remaining population of roughly 1,000 mountain gorillas.

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