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Endangered mountain gorillas killed by lightening strike in Ugandan forest

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East Coast Daily
09th February, 2020 10:45 IST

Four endangered mountain gorillas, Three adult females and a male infant were killed in a lightning strike in a Ugandan national park.

The four were members of a group of 17 known as the Hirwa family which had crossed into the Mgahinga National Park in August last year from Volcanoes National Park in neighboring Rwanda. The autopsy was performed at the forest floor and the big lesions found in the bodies of all great apes suggest death by ‘lightning electrocution’, said the GVTC(Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration)authority though adding that details will come only after two weeks completing the lab procedures.

In 2008, there were estimated to be only 680 of the great apes left but thanks to conservation efforts and anti-poaching patrols, their population has grown to more than 1,000. Due to these efforts, in 2018 the mountain gorilla, a subspecies of the eastern gorilla, was moved from “critically endangered” to “endangered” on the IUCN’s “Red List” of threatened species.


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