In the wake of the shocking death of Rafiki, one of Uganda's best-known and most-loved gorillas, conservationists are closely watching the Nkuringo gorilla group in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
In June, Rafiki was speared by a poacher who later admitted to hunting pig and antelope in the park. He said he killed the gorilla in self-defense when the silverback charged. The Ugandan man has since been sentenced to 11 years in prison, while three men who entered the park with him are awaiting trial.
African Wildlife Foundation conserves elephant and rhino populations by supporting the work of rangers and community wildlife scouts — the “boots on the ground” who shield highly endangered animals from poachers’ guns.
As the leader of the Nkuringo mountain gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Rafiki was the gentle giant who protected his family of 17. He was speared and killed in an act of self-defense after accosting four poachers. They were in the park illegally to hunt bush pig, according to the official statement released on June 12, 2020 by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
The illegal trafficking of protected African wildlife species can take various gory forms across the continent. Wildlife management authorities and investigators often discover concealed elephant tusks still dripping with blood or even pieces of flesh and hides, but they are also likely to find crocodile eggs or pangolin scales. The contraband counts as evidence, as do the tools and weapons found at the crime scene, which can range from handmade bows and arrows to AK47s.
USAID extends help from the American people to achieve results for the poorest and most vulnerable around the world. It invests in ideas that improve the lives of men, women, and children by activities such as agricultural productivity, combating deadly diseases, fostering private sector growth, and much more.
Already vulnerable to a number of natural predators, the kudu now faces loss of habitat due to habitat destruction and poaching. When you support African Wildlife Foundation, you support local communities’ efforts to protect wildlife habitats.
AWF protects nearly 40 % of Africa's elephants. Support our programs to stop elephant poaching and ivory trafficking.
Ground up. Hidden in coffee. Disguised. There is no limit to the tactics wildlife traffickers will use when they are attempting to sneak through wildlife contraband. But there is no fooling a dog’s nose. No matter how hard smugglers try to hide their contraband, African Wildlife Foundation’s highly trained canine detection dogs will sniff out wildlife products. In fact, it takes only 10-12 seconds for one dog to inspect a vehicle and signal to their handler where the contraband is concealed.
Uganda has an extraordinary natural beauty and significant untapped tourism potential.
From the highest mountain range in Africa — the Mountains of the Moon — to the mighty Nile, Uganda is filled with natural beauty.
So, it’s only natural that there is a variety of wildlife and flora found within the country’s boundaries. More than half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas, over 1,000 bird species, along with seven out of the 18 plant kingdoms, and more than 340 mammal species find sanctuary in Uganda.
From wildlife artist to wildlife scout: the conservation champion of Murchison Community Conservancy
Lakica Diana never dreamt that her passion for wildlife would translate into a career allowing her to protect some of Uganda's most vulnerable species. For the past nine years, she has lived in the Murchison Community Conservancy, near Uganda’s famed Murchison Falls National Park — growing increasingly fond of its wildlife, and even developing a hobby of drawing her favorite animals. The elephant, despite being one of the more frequent ‘visitors’ to her homestead, is still her best-loved muse. Since April 2019, Diana leads the team of community wildlife scouts securing the conservancy. The 21-year-old head scout has broken the mold to seek out a life she could hardly have imagined, especially when she was a young girl doing household chores, and even after the birth of her daughter when she was 18.