Two months ago Uganda lost the oldest mountain gorilla silver back Ruhondeza to “advanced age” and now one of the oldest females, Bwiruka, has also gone.

Bwiruka is one of the senior adult female mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. She has been a dominant female in the 34-member Nshongi gorilla family, and was found dead by trackers on Monday.

According to officials of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Bwiruka was known to be playful, friendly and even cheeky.

Bwiruka has been one of the most senior adult female mountain Gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and has died at 30 years.

Mountain gorillas are Uganda’s main tourist attraction, which is understandable; they are teetering on the edge of extinction and Uganda’s dense forests are home to over half of the world’s remaining 750 mountain gorillas. Gorilla tourism in Uganda has contributed much to the tourism, a sector that currently generates over USD 800 millions. Many tourists have visited Uganda and carried out gorilla trekking – a 3 day adventure to the gorillas or on a traditional Uganda safari holiday.

So, given our emotional and physical connection to these gentle apes that carry up to 99 per cent human-like DNA and the very serious danger they face, it’s just understandable why many humans want to see their close cousins survive.


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