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Dolphins DC Matt Burke's summer vacation includes hiking with mountain gorillas

After the Dolphins wrap minicamp next week, defensive coordinator Matt Burke is headed overseas. Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins first-year defensive coordinator Matt Burke is one of the smartest and most interesting members of the team.

So it's no surprise that Burke is about to embark on the most interesting of summer vacations.

"I'm actually going to Uganda to hike with mountain gorillas," Burke said matter-of-factly Wednesday.

Mountain gorillas?

"Yes, we're going to go trek some mountain gorillas for a couple of days," Burke said. "There are only like 700 left in the wild, their natural habitat."

Burke said he is making his second trip to Uganda with his girlfriend at the conclusion of next week's mandatory minicamp. The couple will stop in Amsterdam before heading to Uganda to spend time in the wild.

There is an element of danger to the trip. However, Burke sounds prepared.

"I think you're not supposed to approach the gorillas and all that stuff," Burke said. "Apparently you're just not supposed to make eye contact. That's like a pretty threatening situation, so, eyes down and just no sudden movements, hopefully."

Once Burke returns, he has a sizable job ahead of him in training camp. Miami's former linebackers coach doesn't have it easy taking over a Dolphins defense that was ranked 29th overall and 30th against the run last season.

Burke must figure out a way to make his group more physical at the point of attack, particularly at linebacker. The Dolphins have cross-trained many of their linebackers this offseason and won't settle into starting positions until closer to training camp. Kiko Alonso, who led Miami in tackles last season, and free-agent pickup Lawrence Timmons will be starters. But they aren't clear on which linebacker spots they will play in.