Archive for June, 2011

Mountain Gorillas to be “baptized” in Rwanda

KIGALI – Twenty-two baby mountain gorillas will be “baptized” in a name-giving ceremony this month in Rwanda’s Volcans National Park.

Rica Rwigamba, the conservation and tourism director said the ceremony that is due to be held on June 18, will give names to twins born in February, a rare occurrence for an endangered species which counts fewer than 800 individuals. Rwanda has recorded only five twin mountain gorilla births over the past 40 years.

“Like every year, renowned personalities will be part of the ceremony,” Rwigamba said.

Mountain gorillas are Rwanda‘s main tourist attraction and accounted for 90 percent of tourism revenue in 2010.

According to a 2010 census, the total number of mountain gorillas has increased by a quarter over the past seven years to reach more than 780 individuals.

Two thirds of them are found in the Virunga massif, which straddles Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda has over 50% of the 780 mountain Gorillas left in the world.