This family was the first of the Uganda mountain gorillas to be habituated in 1998. It was first sighted by trackers around the Mubare hills that are to be found deep in Bwindi Impenetrable forest.
The dominant silverback in the group has always been Ruhondeza and back then he ruled a family with over 18 gorillas.
Over the years his family has shrunk in number (as Ruhondeza has shrunk in size). This is because the now aging monarch has not groomed a successor. He’s the jealous type it seems. The UWA trackers have long suspected that he kills off any up coming blackbacks who may be tempted to usurp his position.
2009 has been a particularly hard year for this family with a loss of three of its members. Early in the year one of the adult females died of a fracture to the skull. She left behind a wee infant of six months, whom the group tried to care for. The baby was found dead on Ruhondeza’s bed by trackers one morning. As the little mite had not been weaned and couldn’t eat the tender shoots that the other family members tried to feed it, its fate was inevitable.
In mid-July one of the older females also lost her baby.
This gorilla family needs your friendship to lighten the pall of grief that has befallen them.