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Thu Jul 30, 2020, 01:08 PM

Killer of rare gorilla Rafiki jailed for 11 years

Killer of Rafiki, Uganda's rare silverback mountain gorilla, jailed

Felix Byamukama pleaded guilty to illegally entering a protected area and killing a gorilla. 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.

He admitted to the UWA previously that he, and three others, had gone to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with the intention of hunting smaller animals and claimed he killed Rafiki in self-defence when he was attacked.

The silverback, believed to be around 25-years-old when he died, was the leader of a group of 17 mountain gorillas. This group of gorillas was described as habituated, meaning that its members were used to human contact.

The gorilla went missing on 1 June and his body was discovered by a search party the following day. A UWA team tracked Byamukama to a nearby village, where he was found with hunting equipment.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.

This was because he was not tried in a special wildlife court, a UWA spokesperson told the BBC.


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