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Mountain gorilla babies named at Kwita Izina 2011
21 June 2011

The seventh annual Kwitza Izina festival saw 22 baby gorillas named in a carnival-like atmosphere in Rwanda. 

Once again, leading Rwandan politicians were joined by representatives of numerous domestic and international conservation groups and NGOs, including the Gorilla Organization, at a special site in the village of Kinigi, just outside the Volcanoes National Park.

Additionally, thousands of those living on the edge of the National Park came along to witness the baby mountain gorillas born over the past 12 months given their names in traditional Rwandan style.

Among those 'baptising' the latest additions to the critically-endangered global mountain gorilla population were Rwandan Prime Minister Bernard Makuza and the Dutch ambassador to the country Anga Fuhmann. Some of the names given on the day for the next generation of Rwanda's gorillas were Urahirwa, Gwira, Indamutso and Isibo, while the twins that made headlines around the world back in February were named as Isangano and Isango.

Emmanuel Bugingo, the Gorilla Organization's Programme Manager for Rwanda says that what makes the Kwita Izina ceremony so special is that it is a public event geared towards raising awareness about gorillas and conservation issues in general, both in Rwanda and internationally.

"So, by hosting such an event, Rwanda is able to mobilise both local and global support for projects aimed at ensuring the survival of gorillas. What's more the money generated helps fund projects in and around the gorillas' natural habitat."

This year's Kwita Izina also saw the several thousand-strong crowd entertained by traditional dancers and the more modern music of Ugandan hip hop star BB Cool.


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