Kyaguriro

Family statistics
Family Size: 15
Silverback: Rukina, Marembo
Blackback: Kafuzi, Byiza
Adult Female: Binyindo, Siatu, Mugwere, Tindamanyere, Twigukye, Matu
Juvenile: Happy, Thursday, Mukiza, Kabandize
Infant: Ponoka

The Kyaguriro group was habituated in 1999 as a group dedicated to research. By closely keeping contact with this group a lot has been learnt about the mountain gorillas of Bwindi. Previously it was believed that the mountain gorillas in Bwindi forest are similar to those of the Virungas, but it has been observed that there are differences between the two types of mountain gorillas. For example, it seems that the blackbacks in the Virungas mature into silverbacks much earlier than the ones in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

During habituation and shortly thereafter this family was under the leadership of an aging silverback called Zeus – yes, named after the Greek god – this was because he was ‘lord and master’ over all the gorillas in his family. That state of affairs didn’t persist for too long as his position was usurped by a rival, and he was banished into the forest. He died in exile. The fate of ousted despots (and even benign rulers) seems to be the same for man and beast alike. That said, mysteries abound in this family (and will most probably remain thus). For example, what claim does Rukina – the current dominant silverback – have as head of the family, seeing as he was no son of Zeus? Will he get a bitter taste of his own medicine, administered to him by Marembo? Where did the adult female Tindamanyere come from and why did the young female gorilla Twigukye, leave her family at such a tender age to join Rukina’s troop?