By DailyNews Correspondent
According to Christine Posi, 59, another French national who was part of the team, said their colleague developed a strange condition soon after returning from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where they had spent time together tracking gorillas.
Sam Mwandha the Executive director Uganda Wildlife Authority
The rather shocking revelations were made at a joint press conference, held by UWA executive directors at their Head office in Kampala on April 23.
“Yes, we received reports from the French Embassy, saying the late Jean Pierre Tutian was suffering from heart disease and this could have caused his death after getting extremely excited upon seeing the mountain Gorila in Bwindi National Park for the first time in his life”, said UWA executive director Sam Mwandha, adding that excitement alone can cause death.
He added that: “UWA will continue to engage with Tour operators to ensure that all visitors to the parks are thoroughly briefed to minimise such incidents. We regret the incident and pray that the soul of Jean Pierre rests in eternal peace”
UWA also revealed that the four suspects in the recent poisoning of Lions in the Queen Elizabeth National
Park have been released on police bond, pending conclusion of investigations.
Mwandha said: “Four suspects have been identified and have made statements at Katwe Police Stations. They were released on police bond, as we await conclusion of investigations”.
UWA Director for Tourism and Business Development Steven Masaba said the tourism body has stepped up effort to sensitise communities living nearby national parks against grazing their domestic animals near the parks.
“We have always worked with local communities near major national parks to ensure a cordial relationship between communities and wild animals. This is through sharing of tourism revenues with these communities, as a form of
UWA corporate social responsibility”, he said.
The mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) is one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla. There are two populations. One is found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa, within three National Parks: Mgahinga, in south-west Uganda; Volcanoes, in north-west Rwanda; and Virunga in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. The other is found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Some primatologists speculate the Bwindi population in Uganda is a separate subspecies, though no description has been finalized. As of September 2016, only an estimated 880 mountain gorillas remain.