Categories: Conservation

Silverback gorilla vital to Uganda’s tourism is killed with a spear by poachers

Share

Rafiki was a famed silverback gorilla. He was the alpha male who led a group of gorillas known as the Nkurigo group. It was the first group to be habituated to people more than 20 years ago. This was a vitally important aspect of this group because it allowed tourists to approach the gorillas safely which generated income to help prevent the extinction of the species. Over 20 years there have been hundreds of thousands of visits.

Rafiki and one of the poachers who killed him. Photo: Daily Mail.

Four poachers have been arrested over the primate’s death. They have admitted to killing him. They say they acted in self defence after Rafiki charged them while they were hunting small animals for food. They were engaged in harvesting bush meat. Bush meat is still a very big deal in Africa. It is a threat to many wild species on the continent.

They killed him with a spear and he was found a day after he was reported missing on June 1. His death leaves the group without a leader. This means that a silverback from another group may enter the group and prevent it from being available for tourists to view because the new leader may not be habituated to tourists. It may cause the breakup of the group. This is a big blow to the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Rafiki means friend in Swahili. He was the only silverback in the Nkuringo group. The other members include three blackbacks, or sub-adult males, two juveniles, eight adult females and three infants.

Punishment for killing endangered primates are dealt with severely in Uganda. It is home to more than half of the last 1,000 mountain gorillas on the planet. The four could face life sentences or fines of £4 million if found guilty. The fine seems ridiculous and won’t be imposed because they couldn’t pay it but the life sentence is truly a daunting punishment. Personally I think is the right one.

MikeB

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

Artificial grass is bad for nature and the environment

It appears that nowadays artificial grass is fantastic quality, highly realistic and more popular than…

14 hours ago

Dogs are the greatest thing in the world – Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais is sad to be parting company with his co-star, a female bicoloured, predominantly…

15 hours ago

Punishing rhino poachers much more severely stops them

NEWS AND OPINION: Rhino poaching has fallen by 63% in Namibia because fines dished out…

1 day ago

Stark naked man chases wild boar who stole his laptop

This photograph, and others in the series, taken by Adele Landauer who happened to be…

1 day ago

Pesticides poison two dogs and birds of prey

NEWS AND VIEWS: It appears that somebody in a place called Nidderdale, near Pateley Bridge,…

2 days ago

Bisphenol in shop receipts is toxic to people and pets

COMMENT/OPNION: Frankly, it is shocking and disgraceful that bisphenol is present in 93% of receipts…

2 days ago