Conserving and protecting a subspecies of Gorilla from the brink of extinction has taken more than a decade, but sadly poachers are still hunting them down. 

Rafiki, Africa's famous rare silverback Gorilla was killed by 4 poachers in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. 

After an investigation was conducted, it was found that Rafiki was killed by a sharp object that damaged his internal organs. A search was launched after Rafiki was reported missing on June 1. The next day, his body was located inside the park. 

One man was arrested in connection with the gorilla's death on 4th June. Police officials found several hunting devices in his possession. 

He told the authorities that he went with a group to hunt when they came across the group of gorillas. He further claimed that the silverback charged at him and he speared it, in self-defense. 

Naturally, Rafiki's death has come as a 'huge blow' for the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) as there are only 1,000 gorilla species left in Uganda. 

Apparently, he died after a poacher thrust a spear in his belly. 

Rafiki, the leader of the famed Nkuringo gorilla group was loved by tourists for decades. The rare silverback was the dominant male in the group that also included three blackbacks, eight adult females, two juveniles and three infants, as per reports. 

The southern section of the park, where Rafiki resided with his group is home to about half of the world's mountain gorilla population. 

People took to Twitter to mourn Rafiki's death and condemn the killing. 

If found guilty, the four men who have been arrested in the case, will face a life sentence for killing an endangered gorilla.

This is devastating!