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Uganda Poacher Given 11 year Jail Sentence For Killing Famous Gorilla Rafiki

A court in Uganda on July 30.2020 sentenced a poacher for 11 years in jail for killing a famous mountain gorilla called Rafiki in the country’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, reported some media on July 31, 2020. The national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a home of 50% of world’s mountain gorilla population.

According to the reports, the convicted poacher, namely Byamukama Felix, admitted killing the gorilla in June 2020, but said that was in self defense. He reportedly elaborated his version of the matter saying, himself and another poacher had gone hunting in the national park when they confronted a group of mountain gorillas with Rafiki among them. Rafiki charged towards them compelling Mr Felix to kill him with his hunting arsenal, a spear. However, the court did not buy into his story about what happened in the national park the day Rafiki was killed.

The 25 year Rafiki meaning Friend in Swahili, was extremely popular among tourists visiting the national park. The rather heavy sentence given to the poacher for killing a primate probably reflects the importance Uganda authorities attached to Rafiki as a tourist attraction, as well as to send a vividly clear warning to other poachers that there is a big price to pay for killing a mountain gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.


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