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Canada Uganda: Man sentenced to 11 years in prison for killing mountain gorilla

17:10  01 august  2020
17:10  01 august  2020 Source:   20minutes.fr

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A Ugandan court sentenced a man to 11 years in jail for killing a mountain gorilla , in a judgment that highlights the government’s crackdown on Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni last year signed a tough law that includes life sentences and fines of as much as 20 billion shillings (.4 million) for

Mountain gorillas resting at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda , where half of the world’s mountain gorilla live.Credit Lorena de la Cuesta/SOPA Images, via Getty Images.

Gorilla Rafiki, aged 25, was the dominant male in a family of 17

Un gorille des montagnes en Ouganda (illustration). © Zaruba Ondrej / AP / SIPA Un mountain gorilla in Uganda (illustration). ANIMAL PROTECTION - Gorilla Rafiki, 25, was the dominant male in a family of 17

Ugandan was sentenced Thursday to 11 years in prison for having notably killed in June a rare Gorilla Mountain in Bwindi Forest Park in the southwest of the country. This silver-backed animal, named Rafiki (friend in Swahili), was around 25 years old.

Felix Byamukama, a resident of a nearby village, was arrested and admitted to killing the monkey with a spear. He claimed to have acted in self-defense, according to the Ugandan Wildlife Authority (UWA), which reports that the man killed "other animals" in the park. The suspect pleaded guilty to three counts: entering a protected area illegally, and also killing an antelope and an bush pig.

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A Ugandan court on Thursday sentenced a man to 11 years in prison for offences including the killing of a beloved mountain gorilla in the Bwindi The authority said Byamukama was given an 11 - year jail term for killing Rafiki "and other wildlife" in the park. Byamukama had pleaded guilty on

A man who claimed to have killed Rafiki — Uganda ’s most beloved gorilla – in self-defense has received an 11 - year prison sentence after pleading guilty to Rafiki was the leader of a group of 17 mountain gorillas that were described as habituated, meaning that they were used to human contact.

An 'endangered' species

"We are relieved that justice has been served for Rafiki and it should serve as an example for others who kill animals," said UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha. Rafiki was the dominant male in a family of 17 gorillas, the first to be accustomed to the presence of humans in the park, to allow tourists to come and watch him.

The UWA had described Rafiki's death as a "severe blow" as intensive efforts had resulted in the mountain gorilla being upgraded from "critically endangered" to "endangered" on the Red List. threatened species from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The population of mountain gorillas, present in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is estimated at around 1,000 individuals, compared with 680 in 2008.

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A man who pleaded guilty to killing a beloved mountain gorilla in a popular national park has been sentenced to 11 years in prison over wildlife offences, the Uganda Wildlife Authority said. The male gorilla named Rafiki had been reported missing on June 1, and authorities with the Bwindi

A Ugandan man who pleaded guilty to killing a rare silverback gorilla was condemned to 11 years in prison on Thursday. Silverback gorilla "Rafiki" in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda , Saturday, Jan. 3, 2019. - Copyright © africanews.

Increase in poaching

Rafiki's death occurred while the frequency poaching cases have increased in Uganda since strict containment was put in place to fight the coronavirus.

"We have observed an increase in poaching cases in our national parks after the closure of our tourist centers because of the Covid-19", told Sam Mwandha. “We're looking for who's behind it. Are communities near parks preying on animals to survive because of the lockdown? Is there a criminal network behind the increase in poaching? Does the absence of tourism in the parks make it easier for poachers? "He wondered.

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