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Oldest Gorilla at Bwindi National Park is dead

A male mountain gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park named Ruhondeza believed to be about 50 years old has died in his sleep leaving his fans in the business of mountain gorilla tracking grieving.

 

Information from Bwindi indicates that Ruhondeza died on June 27th, 2012 and was buried near the Visitor Information Centre in a funeral ceremony attended by hundreds of mourners.

Ruhondeza who has been a member of the Mubare family was the first gorilla to be habituated in the year 1991 and has been an icon in the gorilla tracking tourism in Uganda.

This silver back- Ruhondeza was the leader of Mubare group in Buhoma; the group was the first to be habituated and opened for tourism in march 1993. He was the most peaceful-both to humans and fellow gorillas of all group leaders, most accessible by visitors tourists; lead a conflict free family till his demise. He is the most photographed gorilla leader in Bwindi. He choose not to die in the forest but deep-i mean very deep in the village sorounded by locals! May God rest his soul in eternal peace! agreat job raising his family in peace.

The news about the death of Ruhondeza was first broken by the Uganda Wildlife Authority on the internet late last month.

Human friends of Ruhondeza across the world have since sent in condolence messages with some praising his leadership which ensured safety for his family.

According to the UWA spokesperson, Lillian Nsubuga Ruhondeza was the most caring, peaceful and laid-back gorilla around Bwindi, which earned him the name Ruhondeza which in Rukiga means one who loves sleeping.

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