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Gorilla babies born in the midst of war
13 December 2012

Out of the midst of war and unrest, some good news has emerged from the DR Congo. Ranger teams, who have only recently been able to resume regular patrols within the Virunga Nattional Park, have discovered that four mountain gorilla babies have been born over the past few weeks.

The most exciting developments have been within the Kabirizi family. Headed by ageing silverback Kabirizi, this family had numbered 33. However, the latest check-up carried out by rangers revealed that three babies have been born since the recent troubles began, a remarkable development given the fact that gorilla female gorillas only give birth once every five or six years.

Meanwhile, rangers patrolling the Virunga National Park also discovered that the Rugendo mountain gorilla family welcomed a new arrival while patrols were disrupted.

Welcoming the news, Henry Cirhuza, the Gorilla Organization's Programmes Manager in DR Congo said: "It's so heartening to see that, despite the fighting that has plagued this part of the country over the past few months, our mountain gorillas are going from strength to strength.

"Of course, this has only been possible as they were largely untroubled by the fighting. Should conflict return to the Virunga National Park, there is no guarantee that these magnificent creatures will stay safe, so it's imperative we carry on with our vital work."

News of the births comes soon after the results of the latest census carried out in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda were published. According to the count, there are now around 480 mountain gorillas living within the park's boundaries which, combined with the families and individuals living across the Virungas Masif, takes the total global population to 880.

 

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
david@gorillas.org
www.gorillas.org