Four Suspects Arrested By Uganda Wildlife Authority Over The Death Of A Silverback Gorilla Known As Rafiki

Photo By: Uganda Wildlife Authority

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) personnel arrested four poachers in the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) last week following the death of a gorilla known as Rafiki, the Silverback of the famous Nkuringo group.

The arrests follow an investigation into the Silverback’s death after a post-mortem report revealed that the injury Rafiki sustained was from a sharp object.

The team arrested Byamukama Feliz who was found in possession of bush pig meat and several hunting devices, including a spear, rope snares, wire snares, and a dog hunting bell that were recovered from his home on June 4th.

Photo By: Uganda Wildlife Authority

Byamukama confessed to killing Rafiki in self-defense. He claimed that while in the park with Bampabenda Evarist, they came into contact with Rafiki and his group. Rafiki reportedly charged at the men, and that is when Feliz speared him.

The UWA team, working with Chairman LCI Mr. Ngabirano Pascal of Murole Village, arrested Bampabenda Evarist, Museveni Valence, and Mubangisi Yonasi on June 7th.

The four suspects are currently at Kisoro Police station awaiting trial.

On June 1st, Rafiki was reported missing, and on June 2nd, UWA’s Team mounted a search for him. Sadly, the body of Rafiki was found in Kakato area inside BINP.

Nkuringo is the first gorilla group to be habituated in the southern sector of BINP in 1997. at the time of Rafiki’s death, the group had 17 members; one Silverback, three Blackbacks, eight adult females, two juveniles, and three infants.

Tragically, there are only an estimated 1,000 mountain gorillas remaining in the wild. Please help save them by donating to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International HERE!

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