A Ugandan man who pleaded guilty to killing a rare silverback gorilla was condemned to 11 years in prison on Thursday, Africa News reports.
A 25-year-old male gorilla named Rafiki was found dead in June at the Bwindi National Park in Uganda. Rafiki was the dominant male in a family of 17 mountain gorillas.
The suspect told investigators that he killed the gorilla in self-defense.
About one thousand mountain gorillas live in protected areas in Congo, Uganda and Rwanda.
Tourism in national parks brings critical funds to protect the animals, but since the coronavirus pandemic, the industry has collapsed, and concerns about how to protect vulnerable animals are rising.
Mountain gorillas are now critically endangered due to the surge of illegal hunting.