RUBAVU - Police, on Sunday night, rescued a baby Mountain Gorilla aged between 8 and 12 months smuggled by a group of poachers from Parc National de Virunga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The baby gorilla was found in the hands of three poachers indentified as Jean Baptiste Mushebeje and Elia Musabyimana, and Janvier Tuma, a Congolese national.
The trio were intercepted and arrested in Rubavu town and are currently held in Gisenyi Police Station.
The female baby gorilla is currently being taken care of at an orphan care facility at Kinigi in Musanze District. The primate has since been given a clean bill of health.
The head of Tourism and Conservation at Rwanda Development Board, Rica Rwigamba, noted that poaching continues to be a threat to conservation efforts.
“I would like to commend the role of the Police in conservation and their quick and strong collaboration with us. This enabled us to immediately alert the partners in conservation and the Chief Warden who took the baby gorilla under the orphan care facility at Kinigi,” Rwigamba said in a statement.
Mushebeje, a resident of Rwazekuma sector in Rubavu District, believed to be the notorious poacher, said that he had bought the gorilla at Rwf 9 million.
The baby gorilla will be kept at the Kinigi facility for close health monitoring for a minimum period of one month, as recommended by veterinary experts.