Uganda court sentences killer of mountain gorilla to 11 years

Felix Byamukama pleaded guilty to three

Felix Byamukama pleaded guilty to three

Rafiki - "friend" in Swahili - led the Nkuringo troop of more than a dozen gorillas.

Felix Byamukama pleaded guilty to unlawfully getting in a secured location and eliminating a gorilla.

Two days later, Byamukama was arrested with several hunting items, including a spear and snares, according to a statement from the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

The late Mountain Gorilla's; Rafiki (PHOTO/Courtesy).

It is said that the killer previously told the UWA that he and 3 others went to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with the intention of hunting smaller animals.

A postmortem report uncovered that Rafiki was hurt by a sharp unit to his stomach and interior organs.

On June 1, 2020, Rafiki was reported missing in the group and on June 2, 2020, a team mounted a search for the missing silverback.

A UWA group tracked Byamukama to a neighboring town, where he was discovered with searching devices.

Alberta adds 127 COVID-19 cases, 1 death
In Alberta, there are 10,716 total cases - 1,408 considered active, a decrease of 22, and 9,113 recovered, an increase of 130. One person from the Central Health Zone has died as a result of the virus, which is the second death for that region.

Another three suspects who were arrested at the time have pleaded not guilty and been remanded in custody while they await trial. Rafiki was the dominant male in a family of 17 mountain gorillas.

Felix Byamukama said that he killed Rafiki when the 25-year-old silverback gorilla attacked him. The approximately 400 mountain gorillas living there are used to humans.

"The death of Rafiki leaves the group unstable and there is the possibility that it could disintegrate", Bashir Hangi from the UWA informed the BBC in June.

UWA said that even when Rafiki's brother Christmas left the group to start his own group, at times, he (Christmas) would return and be part of the Nkuringo group - like that prodigal son, and Rafiki always let his brother return home.

If that took place, the group would not wish to enter contact with people, which eventually might impact tourist.

Tourism in national parks brings critical funds to protect the animals, but since the coronavirus pandemic, the industry has collapsed, and concerns about how to protect vulnerable animals are rising.

The mountain gorilla types is limited to secured locations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. The Bwindi Park is heavily protected and access for visitors is limited.

The IUCN now categorizes the types as threatened.

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