Matabishi is Senkwekwe’s self-proclaimed silverback. Being the only male of the group, he was destined for the role and is slowly growing in stature and competency. Despite his strength, both of character and in physical terms, Matabishi is a gentle giant, who is instinctively caring and generous as a leader.
Like all gorillas in the sanctuary, Matabishi has been through some tough times, the difference being that nobody knows exactly what led him to be orphaned, or why he was left alone in a field outside Virunga National Park in June, 2013. It is suspected, due to the injuries on his back, that he had been restrained by a rope, possibly by poachers seeking to sell him on as an exotic pet before being spooked.