Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, located in the high mountains of western Uganda, is home to the world’s largest population of Mountain Silverback Gorillas. The forest shrouds itself in veils of mist to conceal the ever-growing wonders that have been hidden and forgotten in time. The Mountain Silverback Gorillas have thicker and more abundant fur than other ape counterparts to combat harsh conditions in the high mountains. The estimated 880 of the remaining population, are located predominantly in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with others scattered through Virunga National Forest and the Congo Basin. The Mountain Silverback Gorillas unfortunately earned their critically endangered status due to civil conflict, deforestation, disease, poaching, and encroaching human populations which have caused the dwindling population.
ISOJI had the opportunity to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and speak with one of the shining beacons of hope which has been working hard to contribute to conservation efforts since 1996. Doctor Gladys Zikusoka, led and managed the first scabies skin disease outbreak in mountain gorillas and has been dedicated to Conservation Through Public Health ever since. By addressing key issues which cause inevitable harm to these fragile populations of Mountain Silverback Gorillas, Dr. Zikusoka has been able to improve people’s lives as well as make a positive contribution to wildlife conservation. The future for Mountain Silverback Gorillas is looking bright, as conservation efforts which truly focus on the well-being and education of the community as a whole, has increased population counts from 620 animals in 1989 to around 880 animals today. It is our vision at ISOJI to contribute towards ongoing efforts in conservation for a brighter future to come.