Four poachers were arrested this week in connection with the killing of a rare silverback gorilla in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a lush preserve of mist-shrouded hillsides and thick rain forests that is home to nearly half of the world’s mountain gorillas, the authorities said. One of them, Byamukama Felix, confessed to killing the gorilla in self-defense, the authority said. Mr. Felix said that he had gone hunting in the park with another poacher, Bampabenda Evarist, when they came across the Nkuringo gorillas. Rafiki charged, and Mr. Felix speared him. The silverback, known as Rafiki, was killed by a poacher with a spear, according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Rafiki, who was believed to be about 25, was the leader of the famed Nkuringo gorilla group, which has been popular with tourists for decades. The last time a mountain gorilla was killed by a spear was in June 2011, according to the International Gorilla Conservation Programme. But there are signs that poaching in gorilla parks has increased in recent months, as tourism has fallen because of the coronavirus pandemic, the organization said.
SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES