A group of mountain gorillas - four out of the just over the 1,000 still left in existence - have died as the result of a fatal lightning strike in Uganda over the course of the weekend.The affected group of gorillas consisted of three adult females, one who was with-child, and a male infant - they were found in Uganda's Mgahinga National Park with "gross lesions" on their bodies pointing to death by electrocution. "[This is a big loss for the species," said the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC), considering rare mountain gorilla is close to being an endangered species, according to the BBC.The species is protected all throughout a string of restricted safe havens or national parks located in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratc Republic of Congo.The four dead were designated as part of the Hirwa family, a 17-member group that migrated from their original dwellings in Rwanda to settle in Uganda's Mgahinga National Park in the Virunga Massif mountain range last year. The other 13 surviving members were found and are feeding well despite the recent tragedy to constituents of their family."This was extremely sad," Andrew Seguya, executive secretary of the GVTC, told the BBC. "The potential of the three females for their contribution to the population was immense."The results of the full autopsies are expected to be released in the next few weeks.In 2008, around 600 mountain gorillas were suspected to be left living in the wild. But as of 2018, that number has risen to over 1,000 due to the direct impact of conservation efforts - including anti-poaching units and field-based veterinarians - leaving the International Union for Conservation of Nature to remove the mountain gorilla from the endangered species list.However, even though the mountain gorillas have slowly increased in number, climbing themselves out of the endangered species list - the great ape still remains in danger, therefore, conservationists and their efforts regarding these simians tribes will continue to keep up the pace previously set forth for them.