We received some sad news last Saturday. One of Bwindi’s mountain gorillas (a black-back male called “Mizano”) in the Habinyanja group was found dead. It appears the animal might have been speared — but we have heard so many different stories already we shall wait to hear the official conclusions from the Uganda Wildlife Authority who are now investigating.
The Habinyanja family had 17 gorillas leaving 16 now. An official postmortem has already taken place and we hope to hear more soon.
Friends of critically endangered Mountain Gorillas are mourning the brutal death of Mizaano (meaning playful) on Friday June 17 2011, of Habinyanja Family, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park(BINP) who has been the only blackback in the group.The carcass of the stocky gorilla who had been in line to succeed Makara the reigning silverback was discovered by the trackers on Friday morning with a spear wound in the right side of the shoulder.
Preliminary findings from a post mortem carried out by doctors from the Conservation Through Public Health indicates that the gorilla died a brutal death because it was killed by a spear through the right side of the shoulder into the lungs that got suffocated to death.
It is probable that the dogs tried to fight off the gorilla and in the process the black back must have fought the dogs, and realizing that their dogs are their life line, the poachers decided to save them by killing the gorilla. The Uganda Wildlife Authority which is charged with the protection of the mountain gorillas is working with security and other partners in conservation to bring the suspected culprits to book and end the vice of poaching.
It is believed the poachers had laid traps targeting other animals in the forest including the antelopes which ended up netting the gorilla.
Last year, a poacher’s wire snare which caught an infant gorilla round its neck in Nyakagezi Group of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, almost ended its life before the intervention of Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project Staff to remove the snare.
We’ll keep you informed when the official accounts are available.