A total of four mountain gorillas in the South Western Mgahinga National Park have been killed by what is believed to be a lightning strike.
The apes, officials say, were found dead at the start of this week.
The Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC), an association of government and NGOs that conserve the Greater Virunga Landscape, termed the development as “unfortunate”.
The killed gorillas, three adult females and a male infant were from the Hirwa family which recently migrated from Rwanda
After postmortem, GVTC, says judging from the gross lesions, it was concluded that the tentative cause of death for all four individuals is likely to be electrocution by lightning.
“Confirmation of the cause of death will be issued after a histopathology laboratory exam of the collected samples, which is expected to take 2-3 weeks. The GVTC and her partners will continue to closely monitor the health of the group,” they said.
The Hirwa family of 17 members crossed to Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park on 28 August 2019 from Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
The group is among many other mountain gorilla families that range within the Virunga Massif ecosystem, which is comprised of three regional parks: Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.