At the age of 21years, Kanyonyi Silverback has been the dominant Silverback of Mubare gorilla family which is one of the three gorilla groups apparently explored by travelers on gorilla safaris in Uganda in Buhoma sector.
Kanyonyi met his unfortunate death on Dec 9th succumbing to fatal injuries that he sustained during a fight with a solitary silverback called Maraya. Many people including us at Prime Uganda Safaris & Tours believe that Kanyonyi like he has always done in the past would have been able to overcome this lone Silverback had it not been weakened by falling from a tree on September 2nd.
The lone Silverback found Kanyonyi lame and weak as it was also receiving treatment from the Gorilla Doctors. After the fall, Maraya launched series of attacks on him from Sept 9th and in a period of one month, Maraya attacked him again taking the members of great Mubare group – the pioneer gorilla family to be launched for Uganda gorilla trekking safari activity in 1993.
The third attack occurred on Nov 4th and from this time, Kanyonyi became too weak and was put on serious treatment by the Gorilla Doctors that included antibiotics, multivitamins and anti-inflammatory drugs. Though Kanyonyi was able to depict signs of improvement by Nov 29th, he was unable move a week later and eventually lost his dear life.
A necropsy indicated joint inflammation, fractures on the right hip joint, severe wound on the left hind limb, hemorrhaging in both the lungs and brain, emphysema of the right lung and copious amounts of yellowish material which is a sign of serious infection. At the time of his death, Kanyonyi’s weight was 84kg almost a half of its usual weight. At the moment, the death cause can be attributed to toxemia arising from hip and wound infection but further laboratory tests will be done to ascertain the exact cause.
The loss of Kanyonyi is received with a lot of grief in the conservation world especially at a time when the Mountain Gorilla population is rejuvenating.
Buhoma Sector along with Ruhija, Rushaga, Nkuringo form the four gorilla trekking regions of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – the home to a minimum of 400 Mountain Gorillas which is close to a half of their world population currently estimated at 880. Other Mountain Gorillas are known to thrive in the Virunga massif comprising of Congo’s Virunga National Park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which present a rich ground for gorilla safaris in Congo, Gorilla Safaris in Rwanda and Uganda Gorilla Safaris.