A Ugandan man has been jailed 11 years for killing one of the country’s best known mountain gorillas.
The rare silverback mountain gorrilla called Rafiki, belonging to Nkuringo group was reported missing on June 1, 2020.
After a search the animal’s body was recovered in Hakato area inside Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Felix Byamukama, a resident of Murole village, Nteko Parish, Nyabwishenya Sub County, Kisoro District was arrested on June 4, 2020 on suspicion of killing Rafiki.
The convict pleaded guilty to three offences; illegally entering a protected area (Bwindi Impenetrable National Park), killing a gorilla and a duiker.
Byamukama was sentenced to five, six and five years respectively for the three offences and will serve all the three sentences concurrently.
The man in another case filed against him pleaded guilty to the offence of killing a bush pig, being in possession of bush pig and duiker meat.
He was also sentenced to five years for each offence and will serve those terms concurrently after ending his jail terms for the first case file.
In total he is expected to spend 11 years in prison for all his offences, according to prosecutors.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) executive director, Mr Sam Mwandha said the sentence would deter future offenders.
“We are relieved that Rafiki has received justice and this should serve as an example to other people who kill wildlife. If one person kills wildlife, we all lose.
We, therefore, request every person to support our efforts of conserving wildlife for the present and future generations,” Mr Mwandha told journalists.