The Mishaya Gorilla family was once a single family with the Nshongi Gorilla Family in the Rushaga area in the Southwestern part of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Like humans, gorillas tend to evolve misunderstanding amongst themselves for a given number of reasons which result into separating from one another to start a new life.

Mishaya Gorilla Family

Through fights, some families may either be acquired or lost to another rival gorilla family hence a change in the numbers of the family members in a specified gorilla group. Gorillas are the closest cousins to humans after the Chimpanzees and Banobos, these giant apes share 98% DNA with humans. Unlike humans, all primates have longer forelimbs and the hind limbs tend to shorter.

Its only humans who have the capability of walking straight with two legs but all primates involve the usage of their four limbs in movement.  The Mishaya group is one of the habituated gorilla family in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forests (12 habituated Gorilla groups), the Bwindi Impenetrable is of home to Mountain gorillas with a huge population of about 340 primates (half of the world’s gorilla population) and a few number of Mountain gorillas is found at the slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Mgahinga National Park at the Uganda – Rwanda border.

Other Mountain gorilla parks in the world include the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Today we want to take a close look at the Mishaya gorilla family in the Rushaga area in the southern sector of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forests.

About Mishaya Gorilla Family

Mishaya gorilla family was once part of the Nshongi gorilla group but in May/2011 Silverback Mishaya seceded away forming own new family. The time he broke away from Nshongi, the group comprised of 12 members but the figures keep on changing due to few reasons like new births, new friends, and death, winning of other family members from another group, breakups and many more. Silverback was known for his aggressiveness that he fought and was seen in many battles with other Gorilla groups and unhabituated gorilla families as well.

His interactions with other Gorilla groups could result into fights that won him females to join and enlarge his family. Below are some members of the Mishaya gorilla family Silverback Mishaya (Deceased), Bukunzi and Mwiza the adult females, Rutaro and Mize the juveniles, Mwiza has 2 babies and Bukunzi has 1 baby and more other 2 unknown babies. Currently the family is led by Silverback Mwine.

For example on 26th/06/2011, Mishaya was entangled in a heated fight with an unhabituated Gorilla family which left him with multiple wounds all over his body. The worst injuries were found on him and a 2-year old infant. Both of them were reported by the trackers as ‘Severely Injured.’ The Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (MGVP) worked out hard to restore the apes into a great health.

It’s unfortunate to say that Silverback Mishaya was lost on the 3rd/Feb/2014. His death was mysterious as he was found dead by the Park trackers in the morning, he only lived for 28 years and the cause of his death was unclear. He had no history of illness, no injuries and up to date his death is still being investigated. If you intend to have your gorilla experience, you’re advised to be at the park headquarters at around 7:00am for a quick briefing by your guide before the excursion. Gorilla tracking permits can be booked online from the Uganda Wildlife Authority website or from the park headquarters in the Rushaga area.