Gorillas – known as Rafiki, which means “friend” in Swahili – are part of the famous Nkuringo gorilla group that lives in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is popular with tourists.
Rafiki was reported missing on June 1, according to a release from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. A search launched the next day found his body inside the park.
A post-mortem report revealed that Rafiki was injured by a sharp instrument in his stomach and internal organs, according to the release.
A man is arrested after wild boar meat and several hunting tools were found in his hand on June 4.
He claimed to have killed Rafiki, but said he did it in self-defense, the release said. He told authorities that he went with a group to hunt in the park when they found a group of gorillas. Silverback attacked and he spearheaded it, wildlife authorities said in a release.
The man shares wild boar meat with fellow hunters, the release said. The four suspects are awaiting trial, but it is not clear what accusations they face.
When Rafiki died, the Nkuringo group had 17 gorillas, the release said. Silverback is the dominant male in the group which also includes three blackback or young adult men, eight adult women, two teenagers and three babies, according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
This group is the first to live in the southern part of the park which is home to around half of the world’s mountain gorilla population.