A Ugandan has been was sentenced this Thursday to 11 years in prison for having killed a rare mountain gorilla in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and other minor offenses.
The silver back gorilla, called Friend (which means “friend” in Swahili), he was about 25 years old. They killed him in June with a spear.
Felix King, a resident of a neighboring town, was arrested and admitted to having killed the ape, claiming that he acted in legitimate defense, according to the Ugandan Fauna Authority (UWA).
Now, Byamukama has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for killing the gorilla and “other animals” in the park. He has also been found guilty of having illegally entered a protected area and having killed an antelope and other specimens of animals.
“We are relieved that justice has been served for Rafiki, and this should serve as an example for other people who kill animals,” said the executive director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Sam Mwandha.
Rafiki was the leader of a family of 17 gorillas, the first to get used to the human presence in the park to allow tourists to observe them.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates the population of mountain gorillas, present in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), against 680 in 2008.