According to the World Wildlife Fund, it was once believed that mountain gorillas would not survive to see the end of the 20th century.
Indeed, a perfect storm of threats seemed to spell doom for this subspecies as they've had to face poaching, disease, habitat loss, and the collateral impacts of civil conflicts in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda. However, recent years have actually seen their populations increase thanks to serious conservation efforts.
Nonetheless, they remain endangered and considering that close to half of them reside in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a great deal of vigilance is needed to ensure that progress isn't lost forever.
So when a particularly famous gorilla fell to poachers back in June, it's not hard to understand the incentive to respond in a way the Ugandan legal system has not seen before.