Matabishi is Senkwekwe’s only male mountain gorilla. Since his arrival in 2013, he has continually grown in both competency and stature, leading to his natural self-proclamation as the group’s dominant silverback. Despite his strength, both of character and in physical terms, Matabishi is instinctively gentle, offering care and generosity to the rest of the troop when the time calls for it.
Like all of Virunga’s orphans, Matabishi has without doubt experienced great hardship on his journey to the Senkwekwe centre. Yet his case differs from his companions, in that the circumstances which led him to be abandoned in a cornfield in June 2013 are completely unknown. It is suspected, due to the injuries found on his back, that Matabishi had been captured and restrained, possibly by poachers who may have sought to trade him illegally as an exotic pet, before being disturbed and taking flight.