Update on Gorilla Death in Uganda

News | 20/04/09

Last month we reported the death of an adult female gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. We’ve been carefully following up on this terrible incident, and we have an update:

Kashongo died when a farmer threw stones at the gorilla, who was feeding in her banana farm. The farmer said that in the rush to chase the gorilla away and protect her children, she threw some stones, not meaning to directly hit Kashongo.

Now, tragically, we have learned that Kashongo’s 21 month old infant has died.  Gorilla vets have not yet released full results of the autopsy, but infants that lose their mothers often die of starvation and dehydration.  They usually only have a 5 to 10 percent chance of survival beyond a few weeks.  Though the ranking silverback and a blackback heroically stepped in and took care of the infant, it was found dead in the silverback’s sleeping nest the morning of March 12th.

IGCP will continue to work with the park authorities and communities to increase awareness of the importance of mountain gorilla conservation to prevent this sort of incident occurring again.  We will, of course, continue to follow this developing story and I’ll post any news as soon as it comes in. Thank you for all your support and thoughts during this difficult time.

The International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) currently consists of Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International and the World Wide Fund for Nature. We recognise that the earth's survival is dependent on humanity's ability to maintain a healthy and balanced environment that includes all species of wildlife.