The Uganda gorilla safari destination of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the south west of the country is known as the world’s richest individual habitat in terms of mountain gorilla numbers. A count of 400 mountain gorillas is noted to be thriving in Bwindi alone out of the 480 that are known to be thriving in the wild.
A tragedy befell this ancient forest and a habitat for these critically endangered species on 17th June 2015 when the seventeen (17) year old black back which was a member of Habinyanja gorilla family always encountered on gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda in the Buhoma sector in the north of the park was speared to death by the poachers.
It is noted that the poachers were targeting antelopes and duikers with their traps laid very well in the forest but unfortunately the black back Mizaano fell into it. In the process of fighting with the poachers’ dogs, the poachers put it to death with their spears. A group of three (3) suspects were arrested while the other four (4) were still on the run.
The suspects who were given as Byamugisha Fidel 53, Kazongo Amos 52 and Byamugisha Leonard residing in the sub-county of Mpungu in the district of Kanungu. The members that ran from being caught include; Mbabazi, Kashabe and Bagoro. These are the local community members neighboring the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park an epicenter for gorilla safaris in Uganda.
The postmortem conducted by Conservation through Public Health doctors indicated that Mizaano faced a brutal death as the spear caught it in the right side of its shoulder penetrating to the lungs culminating into its suffocation and death.
Losing a mountain gorilla at that tender age is very regrettable and thus requires renewed efforts dedicated to their conservation. The communities surrounding the park have to be sensitized again about the dangers of hunting in the forest. Although their target is not gorillas, they should get to know that traps set to capture other wild game can trap the gorillas too and culminate to their death.
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