Mukiza Gorilla Group – A Gorilla Trekking Family in Ruhija
Mukiza Gorilla Group is one of the gorilla families in Ruhija Sector of Bwindi that split away from Kyaguliro Gorilla Family near the same area.
At first, the Kyaguliro family had 21 members with 8 female adults all under the command of Rukina, a very humble dominant Silverback. Rukina gave much of his time females and infants in the family whom he made very close to himself. The 29-year old Rukina died in 2015 after being at the helm of Kyaguliro leadership for about a decade.
During Rukina’s command of Kyaguliro group, he faced constant challenges from another grown-up silverback Mukiza who was always eager to take over the family leadership. Fortunately to Mukiza and unfortunately to the family, when Rukina died in 2015, it was good news for Mukiza who took over the command afterwards. However, Mukiza leadership didn’t last for long as a guest silverback, Rukara from Bitukura family come into the group probably upon knowing that the former head Rukina is no more and took over leadership. Rukara is still the head of the Kyaguliro. In the fraternity, it is rare for the two silverback to coexist in a single family and this was true with the Kyaguliro group. Mukiza decided to break away from the family and form his own named after his name.
In gorilla tourism, the splitting of gorilla families means good for the industry. This is because more groups mean more gorilla permits for the trekking visitors. And once male mountain gorillas live together in a family, as power may command, one silverback will suppress the rest to dominate the females giving other silverbacks no chance to mate. But once there is division of families, other males will get an opportunity to head families and produce more infants.