Rafiki – A Gorilla’s Eulogy


On the 14th April 2020 I spoke to the collective of world gorilla’s regarding the effect of Covid-19 in their world.  Something that became very clear during that communication – it was a double edge sword.  On the one hand they loved experiencing the silence of nature once again but that they were now fearful this would provide opportunity for hunters and poachers to infiltrate their group. Unfortunately it the leader of the group in Uganda on June 1st 2020 was killed by 4 poachers.

Four poachers arrested over killing of Uganda’s rare silverback gorilla Rafiki


(picture by Uganda Wildlife Authority)


“I long for my group.  I have been the unchallenged leader for 12years until now. The truth of my death needs to be told. I do not kill senselessly but wonder why others find it necessary. I died protecting one of the infants under threat by intruders.  Their intention to cause harm left me no choice but to show my strength clearly in the hope they would be on their way. It was not my intention to kill. However killing me left my group in a state of vulnerability and confusion.

I have fathered many of the infants in our group over time. It can be a lonely existence always watching but I grew used to it as I was destined to be a leader. I knew my job and I did it well. I feel I have fathered and protected one of the strongest troops. I always preferred to live in peace. But now that seems impossible as there is always an enemy.

What is to become of them now? I had promising Blackbacks but were nowhere near ready for a leadership role. They do not have the drive to be leader but prefer to socialise and blend with the females. There is one that if need be could take the role, even if prematurely. He would need to be left long enough unchallenged by a wild Silverback to settle in, learn the responsibilities and for the group to adjust. 

It is important that the group is driven by strength not fear. That the stability of the group is a virtue for the infants and other youngsters on how our species exist and the rules we follow. Without a leader there are no rules or stability. It is crucial this be sorted very soon or they will join other groups. 

A wild silverback may see our group as too tainted by human interaction and the only option that they dissipate between groups to dilute our DNA strength. It will be a major change to all in the group but they will soon revert to their wild instincts in the right environment. They are very confused with the human species now and prefer to keep their distance. Their human security has now been shattered. 

I have appeared to my group to encourage a sense of calm but their scattered energy and hyperalertness to the environment is making it difficult to sense me in this altered form. When it is possible I will address them and speak of my preference for the future of the group. As they are in physical form and I am not, It is not clear if that will be their path.

We still need representation with the humans, as our cohabitation will keep those of the wild safe and out of view.  We will be the focus of their intent. When will the humans value all life, even their own.

Do they not realise that to end us is to end themselves?  The wild is what maintains the very existence of this planet and the matrix it weaves. This has created a major setback in the element of trust. It may never be regained on either front.

We have been let down by the humans and I leave feeling was I a fit leader, as my group is left unprotected? I do not have confidence that we can rely on the human form.

Although grateful to those who looked to keep us safe mankind has not changed enough to make a difference.”


We are currently organising a breathtaking trip to Africa to visit Gorilla country. Trisha will be translating their thoughts and words directly to you. She will endeavour to allow questions to be asked and answered by the Gorilla’s themselves.   If this sounds like something on your bucket list then please contact us as numbers will be extremely limited to give you the ultimate experience. trisha@animaltalk.com.au

About the author 

Trisha Mc Cagh

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