The Silverback gorilla, named Rafiki, went missing on June 1 at the state-run Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). The 25-year-old primate, a leader of the group in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, was found dead the next day. The animal was killed by four poachers, said the Ugandan authorities.
In a statement, the UWA said the four men were detained for their role in the death of gorilla Rafiki. As Reuters reports, Bwindi is a 320-sq-km UNESCO heritage site located near Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is home to primates, elephants, antelopes and other wildlife. Rafiki was 25 years old, and she was elite of her troop.
To see how the wildlife is rich in Uganda, many tourists visit the park to see its 400 mountain gorillas, that’s nearly half the primates’ population globally.
Rafiki’s killing shocked the wildlife international fora. The arrests were made after 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.”
One of the detained men was found in possession of wild hog meat, rope and wire snares and spears, the statement said. The man “confessed to killing the gorilla in self-defence,” the statement said, adding he said it charged at him while he and a colleague were hunting.
Rafiki was head of a 17-member gorilla group called Nkuringo.