The incident has been described as a 'big loss for the species'. Image Credit: Richard Ruggiero / USFWS
A freak accident has resulted in the deaths of four rare mountain gorillas in Uganda's Mgahinga National Park.
Having long been the subject of conservation efforts, mountain gorillas - which now number around 1,000 - are some of the most endangered primates on Earth.
Native to Rwanda and Uganada, these large apes are frequently at risk from a number of threats including poaching, habitat destruction and human encroachment in the region.
Now another such threat has been brought into sharp focus after it was revealed that four of the animals - including a pregnant female - had been killed by a lighting strike.
Those killed were part of a 17-strong group known as the Hirwa family.
"This was extremely sad," said Andrew Seguya of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC). "The potential of the three females for their contribution to the population was immense."
Fortunately the other members of the group have since been found and are doing well.
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