PETITION TARGET: Attorney General of Uganda William Byaruhanga
Stabbed with a sharp object that penetrated his skin, sliced open his abdomen, and ruptured his internal organs, a rare silverback mountain gorilla named Rafiki took his final breath while lying in a pool of his own blood after being attacked by poachers in Uganda, reports BBC News.
The innocent gorilla was well known and loved by locals and tourists. A search party discovered Rafiki’s mutilated, lifeless body dumped in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park the day after locals reported him missing.
As the sole 25-year-old silverback leader of the Nkuringo gorilla group — which includes three blackbacks, eight adult females, two female juveniles, and three female infants — the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) fears the 16-member collective could disintegrate, leaving them vulnerable in the wild.
Mountain gorillas are an endangered species with only around 1,000 left in existence, making this tragic loss a worrying setback to conservation efforts, which have managed to bring the population back from the verge of extinction.
Four poachers have been identified and arrested following this senseless slaughter. One was found in possession of bush pig meat and hunting apparatuses, including a spear, wire snares, and a dog-hunting bell. He confessed to killing the gorilla in self-defense when on a hunting expedition with the other three poachers.
We must make sure the world knows that killing a threatened species is an inexcusable offense. Sign this petition urging Attorney General of Uganda William Byaruhanga to prosecute the perpetrator(s) to the fullest extent of the law.