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Rare mountain gorilla twins born
09 February 2011

The Gorilla Organization is excited to announce the birth of an extremely rare pair of mountain gorilla twins in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.  The twins, who were born on 3 February 2011, are only the fifth set of twins ever recorded in the history of Rwanda’s mountain gorillas.

The mother, known fondly to rangers as Kabatwa, belongs to the Hirwa group of gorillas and is reportedly proving to be an excellent mother. Kabatwa is one of fewer than 800 mountain gorillas remaining in the wild.

“Gorilla mothers usually have only one baby every four years or so - which is one reason why they are so vulnerable - so twins give a rare double gain in one birth. But coping with two demanding infants is a challenge for any parent (as my wife and I know from experience!) so I wish Kabatwa (and the boys) the best of luck in the coming weeks and months.  What a fantastic start to the UN International Year of the Forests - two new gardeners of the forest in Rwanda.” Says Ian Redmond, Chairman of the Ape Alliance and father of twin boys.

“It is very rare to hear of mountain gorilla twins, so we were all excited to hear the news from rangers yesterday. The twins are both boys and we feel very positive about their future.” says Emmanuel Bugingo, the Gorilla Organization’s Programme Manager in Rwanda.

The last reported birth of mountain gorilla twins was in 2004. The twins were famously named Byishimo and Impano by the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and his wife at the country’s world famous gorilla naming ceremony in 2005.

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