gorilla beringei beringei (mountain gorilla)
Senkwekwe was the name of the patriarch of the gorilla family, Rugendo. He was one of seven mountain gorillas killed in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 2007.
There are roughly 680 mountain gorillas left on earth. Approximately 200 of them live in the Virunga National Park. The park is also home to a three-way guerilla war, poachers, and illegal charcoal producers.
The valuable, old-growth trees of the Virunga are the source of hardwood charcoal. Areas are clear cut, and the wood is turned into charcoal in giant "charcoal kilns."
Twenty-five percent of Virunga's old-growth, hardwood forest has already been devastated. If the charcoal production isn't stopped, the forest that is the habitat for the gorillas will be gone.
The gorilla killings have been directly linked to the illegal charcoal industry. Honore Mashagiro, former provincial director of Virunga National Park, is awaiting trial for the killings.