Rushegura Gorilla Family

Rushegura Gorilla Family in Buhoma Sector, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Rushegura Gorilla Family is a gorilla group found in Buhoma region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Buhoma is one of the four gorilla trekking sectors of Bwindi. The group is named after Rushegura, a names of the area from where this gorilla family unit separated from the bigger Habinyanja Family. The division happened in the month of February in 2002. The breakaway was spearheaded by the late Mwirima, a strong silverback who needed to create his own family. Mwirima broke away with seven members including females. Later on, Mwirima died and was replaced by a strong black back to the leadership of Rushegura.

The late Mwirima was a son to the Late Mugurisi who headed Habinyanja group. Upon Mugurisi death, Mwirima and his brother Rwansigazi headed the family together for some time. But because Mwirima favored shorter movement ranges and Rwansigazi was fond of moving longer distances, their differences were incompatible and this lead to family dissection. Rwansigazi remained with a reduced Habinyanja group and Mwirima went away with other members to form Rushegura.

Rushegura family was opened for trekking in 2002. The confirmation of the group for tracking by the wildlife official was easy since the individual members had been already habituated under the Habinyanja family. Rushegura group has grown in numbers since its formation and thanks to the Late Mwirima efforts in building a larger family. By April 2010, the family members had increased from 8 to 19 in numbers. Being polygamous silverback, he was on record to have fathered several babies over time.

The group at times crosses into the bordering Democratic Republic of Congo at times. The family has five Adult females, a Black back plus numerous juveniles and infants. The members under the command of Mwirima felt safe due to his courageous fighting against wild rival intruders. Mwirima was known to undertake serious fights in defense of his power and the group at large. Using his sharp canines, slapping, tearing vegetation, chest-thumping plus pounding the ground with palms, Mwirima demonstrated supremacy up to the triumph of the skirmish. The Late Mwirima was the determinant figure for the family movements in search of food plus mediating conflicts arising in the group. Following Mwirima’s death in 2014, an influential black back took over control of the family.

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