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Good news at last for the Rugendo gorilla group
04 May 2011

Rangers in the Virunga National Park, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have reported that adult female gorilla Lubutu has given birth, bringing the number of gorillas in the Rugendo group up to six. The birth of any mountain gorilla is cause for celebration, but this news has been particularly welcomed given what the Rugendo family has been through over recent years.

 

Ten years ago, silverback Rugendo died after being caught in the crossfire between the Congolese army and rebel forces. Just two years later, the family left the forests and strayed into a cornfield where they began eating crops. Villagers gathered to chase the gorillas away by throwing rocks at them but infant Bahati was struck and died from his injuries

 

Then in 2007 the family fell victim to the single biggest attack on gorillas for over 30 years. On July 22, gunmen entered the forests and massacred six members of the Rugendo group: the silverback Senkwekwe, adult females Neza, Safari and Macibiri, a young female Mburanumwe and the infant Ntaribi, To date, the killers have not been caught.

 

After such a tragic past, this new baby represents a symbol of hope, not just for the Rugendo group, but for all the gorillas in this troubled region of DRC and beyond.

 

The Gorilla Organization has launched an appeal for funds to help give this special family and their human neighbours a brighter future. Please make a donation today – your gift will make a real difference.


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