Made up of 15 members, the Bitukura family is found in the eastern Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This mountain gorilla group derives its name from a river that runs in Bwindi forest where the group was first found and where it still lives.
Its habituation process began in July 2007 and the family was officially opened for tracking in October 2008, making it the fastest family to be fully habituated in the history of mountain gorillas in Bwindi national park.
Bitukura’s habituation lasted only for 15 months which is remarkable, since this process normally lasts for a period of not less than 2 years. This experience was only achievable in such a short time due to the group’s close connection with Kyaguriro gorilla family.
It is believed that up to now the two families have regular get-togethers. Because of the numerous encounters with the Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers when it was dealing with Kyaguriro family, its habituation later became much easier. However the Bitukura group which originally had 24 members has been drastically reduced to only 15 members over the last couple of years. It is one of the most peaceable gorilla families with three silverbacks living together in harmony.
Surprisingly one of the youngest silverbacks Ndahura was the leader until it died when it fell from a tree in 2016. Ndahura had achieved the role of group leadership from silverback Karamuzi who has stayed for over 40 years and now peacefully retired. Bitukura family is now under the leadership of silverback Rukumu.
Despite losing several of its individuals by defecting to other gorilla groups, Bitukura is steadily growing and members are living happily and closer to one another. Especially after the birth of its newest member by Ruhara – the adult female.
Some of the members of Bitukura family include; Rukumu the dominant silverback Karamuzi the 2nd silverback, Rukara the 3rd silverback, Betina, Ruhara and Kamuga the adult females, Mugisha and Obia the black backs, Twakire a juvenile, Kabandize a juvenile who moved from Kyaguriro family, plus the infants – Kadogo and Mubwindi.