On the night of August 18th/19th a baby gorilla was born in Bwindi and becomes the newest member of the Rushegura gorilla group. This group is one of the families of gorillas in Bwindi that has been habituated by UWA and provides visitors to Bwindi the rare opportunity to view these magnificent mammals in their natural habitat. The new baby, born just days ago, brings the total number in the Rushegura group to 19 including one Silverback, one Blackback, 7 females, 4 juveniles and 5 infants…….. and now one baby!!!..
The mother has been identified by UWA’s experienced guides as Nyamunwa but, at this stage, it is impossible to tell the sex of the baby as Nyamunwa holds it close and keeps it safe from any prying eyes. Like human mothers, Nyamunwa was pregnant for 9 months, and will carry the baby in her arms and on her back for the first year. After the first year she will continue to keep her baby under close supervision until, by the age of 4, it has finished nursing and has become independent enough to join the other juveniles in the group as they spend their days playing, climbing and exploring under the watchful eyes of their mothers and aunts.
Charles Tumwesigye, UWA’s Conservation Area Manager for Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Area said: “It is always wonderful to be able to celebrate the birth of a gorilla. Each new birth helps to demonstrates that, by working together, UWA, its many conservation partners and the local communities around the parks are succeeding in all our efforts to protect last remaining the Mountain Gorillas in the world from extinction.”
The birth comes just as UWA kicks off its celebrations for ‘2009, the Year of the Gorilla’, designated by UNEP to highlight the plight of the Mountain Gorilla and the need to create global commitment to conserving their habitat and protect them. The celebrations began in Kampala on August 31st Later in the month, between the 23rd and the 26th September, activities will take place in Bwindi and Kampala to celebrate the official launch of the newest habituated gorilla group, the Nshongi Group. This celebration will be made even more special as the Nshongi Group is also the largest group ever to have been habituated, with 36 members, including 3 Silverback when gorillas (stydents in gorilla costumes!) found their way onto the streets of Kampala to talk to the human passers-by about their plight and the need to protect them and their home in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.