The poacher is stabbed a beloved silverback gorilla to death in Uganda has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Rafiki, a 25-year-old male and head of a 17-member gorilla group.
The Poacher Felix Byamukama was arrested by Ugandan wildlife chiefs and pleaded guilty to slaughtering Rafiki within the Bwindi Impenetrable park.
Uganda’s wildlife authority hailed ‘justice for Rafiki’ today after Byamukama was sent to jail.
Poacher Who Stabbed Silverback Gorillas to Death Is Jailed for 11 Years:
‘We are all relieved that Rafiki has received justice and this could function an example to people. Who kill wildlife,’ said wildlife official Sam Mwandha.
‘If one person kills wildlife we all lose. Therefore we request every one to support our efforts of conserving wildlife for this and future generations.’
Byamukama pleaded guilty to numerous charges including killing a gorilla. Entering a protected area and being in possession of illegal meat.
He was also found in possession of of several hunting devices including a spear and cord snares. Which were discovered during a search of his home.
The poacher admitted to going hunting within the park. But claimed he had killed Rafiki in self-defence after the silverback charged at the hunting party.
Rafiki was reported missing from the Nkuringo gorilla group on June 1, prompting an enquiry. Which eventually found the gorilla’s body.
A post-mortem revealed that the silver back gorillas to death sustained ‘an injury by a pointy device/object that penetrated. Its left upper a part of the abdomen up to the interior organs’.
Byamukama was sentenced to 11 years in prison by chief magistrate Julius Borere at a court in Kabale. The wildlife authority said.
Another three suspects who were arrested at the time. Have pleaded acquitted and been remanded in custody while they await trial.
Officials say tough new legislation introduced in 2019 means ‘anyone. Involved in illegal wildlife activities will face the wrath of the law’.
The park, a UNESCO world heritage site near Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. May be a 12–sq-km patch of dense tropical forest that’s home to primates, elephants, antelopes and other wildlife.
Tourists are mostly drawn to the park by its estimated 400 mountain gorillas – roughly half the world´s population.
The silver back gorillas weigh up to 440lbs and have thicker fur than other great apes. Meaning they will survive in colder mountain temperatures.
The World Wide Fund for Nature says mountain gorillas are an species because humans have encroached ever further on their territory.
However, the WWF says the outlook has ‘brightened’ thanks to conservation efforts. Meaning that numbers have increased within the last 20 years .
Poaching is rampant in Uganda’s game parks and police frequently announce seizures of illicitly acquired wildlife products like ivory.rhino horns, pangolin scales et al.