Friday, September 14, 2012
Female Gorilla dies in Bwindi
Within Bwindi national park, one of the old female mountain gorillas named Bwiruka died barely three months after the oldest male, Ruhondeza passed on. Bwiruka was known to be cheeky, playful and friendly. She died at the age of 30 years and has been one of the senior female gorillas in Bwindi. She has been a dominant female in Nshongi group which comprised of 34 members. However, as trekkers went to see the group, they found her dead and this has been reported by the officials of the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Currently a necropsy (postmortem for non-humans) is being performed to determine the cause of her death. However, the Uganda Wildlife Authority say that Bwiruka had recently grown fail and was sighted trailing the rest of the group with difficulty. Her name is in a local language rukiga and means “one who knows how to run”. Her difficulty in feeding and walking was a clear sign that she has not been feeling well.
30 years of age is a very old age for females since giving birth makes them weaker than the males. Her death has affected the number of the group members in Nshongi and as of now there are only 33 members in the group.
Male mountain gorillas can live up to 50 years of age in the habituation whereas their average lifespan is 35 years. During her days, Bwiruka was the male Gorillas’ favourite lady and most of the times could be spotted with the top males secretly like Bweza and Mishaya.
We will all miss her and may her soul rest in peace.