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Gorilla Naming Ceremony 2009
25 June 2009

It is with great honour that the Gorilla Organization recently officially named Amy’s baby 'Uzarama', which means ‘Eternal’ in the local language, at the fifth annual gorilla naming ceremony ‘Kwita Izina’ in Rwanda.

The ceremony, attended by the Prime Minister of Rwanda, Bernard Makuza, took place in Kinigi and was organised by the Rwandan Office of Tourism & National Parks (ORTPN) and the Rwandan Development Board (RDB). This year’s event saw the naming of eighteen baby gorillas born in Rwanda during the last twelve months, indicating a steady birth rate in relation to previous years.

Following the Gorilla Organization’s naming of Igitangaza (affectionately known as ‘Igi’) in 2008, we were delighted to be invited once more in recognition of our contribution to gorilla conservation within the region. And, even more specially, this year it was to name the baby of our very own adoptive gorilla, Amy!

Jillian Miller, Executive Director of the Gorilla Organization, began by thanking ORTPN and RDB for the exceptional opportunity before naming the baby Uzarama  (meaning ‘Eternal’ in Kinyarwanda). Amy and little Uzarama are part of the gorilla group ‘Group 13’, which is based in the Rwandan Volcanoes National Park, able to be visited by tourists.

UN Ambassador and Gorilla Organization trustee, Ian Redmond OBE, named a baby gorilla Umuganda (meaning ‘Community’ in Kinyarwanda) on behalf of the Year of the Gorilla 2009. 

Prime Minister, Bernard Makuza  made a positive commitment to conservation at the event. Addressing the huge crowd, he stated his pride in the achievements of primate conservation in the Virungas and pledged to make conservation a priority going forward. This message was furthered by Mrs Rosette Rugamba, CEO of ORTPN, who called upon the continued efforts of Rwandans to protect the gorillas and so raise the profile of Rwanda across the world.

And of course, in true Rwandan style, the ceremony included a fantastic and highly colourful party. More than a thousand people enjoyed traditional dancing, singing and feasting into the night!


Photo shows: Gorilla Organization Executive Director, Jillian Miller (left) and Gorilla Organization trustee, Ian Redmond OBE (right)

for further information or photographs contact:

David Hewitt, Communications Manager
The Gorilla Organization, 110 Gloucester Avenue, London, Nw1 8HX
Tel: 020 7916 4974
Mobile: 07801 971123