Four poachers arrested for killing endangered silverback gorilla

 Four poachers arrested for killing endangered silverback gorilla
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Four poachers have been arrested for their alleged role in the killing of a beloved silverback gorilla in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, where gorilla treks are a popular attraction for tourists.

Uganda Wildlife announced Friday that four people had been arrested in connection with the death of Rafiki, the leader of a famous gorilla group, the Nkuringo. He was believed to be about 25 years old, and the group he led is one often visited by tourists on safari.


Rafiki's body was found on June 2, a day after he had been reported missing, and is believed to have been killed with a spear. 

Officials say one of the poachers arrested, Byamukama Felix, admitted to killing Rafiki with a spear but said it was in self-defense after the gorilla charged him.

The four men are being held in prison and awaiting trial, though the statement on Friday did not make clear their exact charges.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to nearly half the world's mountain gorilla population, a critically endangered species. According to a 2010 report from the United Nations, their numbers are dwindling and projections estimate they will mostly disappear from the Congo Basin before 2030 without action to preserve their habitat and stop poachers.