Felix Byamukama a man who pleaded guilty for killing a rare Silverback Gorilla in Uganda was sentenced to 11 years in prison. This he did when he entered a protected zone for the Gorillas.
Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo are some of the few countries around the world that are reported to have the highest number of Gorillas with the three countries reported to have more than 1000 in their forests.
According to Mr. Byamukama, he says that he killed Rafiki, one of the rarest Gorillas as self-defense not because he was intentionally planning on killing any Gorillas.
Byamukama also pleaded guilty to killing a small antelope, known as a duiker, and a bush pig, as well as being in possession of bush pig and duiker meat.
According to the Uganda Wildlife Authority, “Justice for Rafiki” has been served and that they are happy with the ruling to have Byamukama behind bars for 11 years.
Byamukama had been with a group of other men when they illegally invaded the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where the Gorillas are always.
Mr. Felix admitted to the Uganda Wildlife Authority that he, and three others, had gone to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with the intention of hunting smaller animals and that he killed Rafiki in self-defense when he was attacked.
When investigations were carried out, it showed Rafiki was killed by a sharp object that penetrated his internal organs.
Concerns started rising when the beloved gorilla went missing on 1 June and his body was discovered by a search party the following day.
Byamukama will serve several sentences concurrently, leading to 11 years in jail which falls far short of the life sentence it was predicted he could have been given.
Rafiki who was 25 years by the time of his death was a leader of a 17 Gorilla that was believed to be very accepting of human interaction and touches. The fear by the Uganda Wildlife Authority is that the group will be taken over by a wild leader which could make human interaction less.
The Authority also stated that they had seen a significant increase in poaching of Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable forest as a result of COVID19 which has limited tourism in the area and country at large.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.