By Darious Magara and Gerald Tenywa
At 28 years, Mishaya had lived only half his life in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda. On Monday, Mishaya died after a short illness, according to top wildlife officials.
The lifespan of mountain gorillas is estimated at 50 years, according to Dr. Gladys Kalema, the director of conservation through public health. She described Mishaya, who broke away from Nshongi about two years ago, as an active, friendly and assertive gorilla.
“Mishaya will be missed,” Kalema said. Others who eulogised Mishaya said he would amuse them, giving many tourists compelling opportunities for photographs.
Dr. Andrew Seguya, the executive director of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) said: “We have lost a lovely mountain gorilla which was free with tourists.” He said he had sent a team of veterinary doctors to investigate further what caused Mishaya’s death.
Preliminary results indicate that he died after the coiling of the intestines. Mishaya was the only silverback (alpha male) after which a group of habituated gorillas in Bwindi was named. His group lives in Rushaga, in the southern region of Bwindi.
Apart from Mishaya, the southern sector of Bwindi is home to habituated gorillas, Nshongyi, Kahungye and Busingye groups.