RUHEMUKA, a subordinate Silverback in the newly habituated Kahungye Mountain gorilla family has passed on in a painful forest accident. The robust silverback estimated to be slightly above 30 years old is believed to have fallen off a tree landing his head on the ground from a height of 20-30 meters on March 6th,2013.Rangers discovered that his mouth and the eyes had been hit and torn by a nearby tree. The sharp trauma/organ injury, with excessive bleeding into the brain is believed to have led to instant shock and resultant death.
The post-mortem and necropsy of the silverback and revealed that the Silverback who was the second in command after Rumanzi, had sharp trauma and deep injuries on the face, nose and mouth. One of the maxillary incisor teeth was broken.
The report further shows a deep brain injury from the fractured skull and neck. The vertebrae (neck bones) had protruded into the cranium/ brain. The diaphragm had been burst and abdominal organs were in the chest. Internal bleeding was massive in the chest region
The silverback died in the area of Kahunge hill on a steep side with Maesa plants (Omuhanga in Rukiga). In the morning of Wednesday, March 06th, the group was found in Kahunge area. The gorillas had been in Maesa plants feeding on fruits.
The deceased gorilla, Ruhemuka, had been with the group. He had been up in Maesa tree shortly before the arrival of trackers in the area. Ruhemuka was a healthy silverback without any injuries before his death. When trackers reached the place of death, Ruhemuka had fallen from the tree and had died shortly after. The body was still bleeding. It is always sad to lose a family member as evidenced by the sombre stature the group cut from that time.