Dr. Andrew Seguya, the executive director of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) said they were celebrating double joy for the addition to the gorilla families. Two babies have been born in one week among Mubare group of Mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, south western Uganda.
“Gorillas are among the rarest species of animals on the face of the earth and it is not common to have two gorillas born in the same week,” said Seguya, adding that the gorillas are also regarded as critically endangered species.
In a separate interview, Aggrey Rwetsiba, Senior Manager, Ecological Monitoring and Research at UWA said Bwindi has 400 Mountain Gorillas. He also said the Virunga Massif shared by Uganda (Mgahinga Gorilla National Park), DR Congo and Rwanda houses 480 Mountain gorillas. This brings the total number of gorillas to 880 gorillas.
On June 28th, Kisho produced a bouncing baby. Earlier (On June 23rd), Karungi produced a baby bringing to 14 as the total number of Mountain Gorillas in Mubare Group. Kanyonyi who is the silver back in the group is the father of the babies. Mubare has been increasing since 2012 when Kanyonyi took over leadership after the demise of his father.
Pontious Ezuma, the Conservation Area Manager (CAM) for Bwindi-Mgahinga Conservation Manager said 10 babies have been born in Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park since the beginning of the year with only one death registered. “It is an exciting moment to have babies,” said Ezuma, adding, “the gorillas are producing as a result of better conservation measures. They are more relaxed and they feel safe to produce babies.”
Welcoming the new borns, Lilian Kamusiime, a conservationist stated, “good news.” Conservationists implored Uganda to celebrate the gorillas. “Make Gorillas Naming like us (Rwanda)” said Janvier Cyubahiro.
Gorillas contribute about $10m (sh34b) to Uganda’s tourism earnings. For three years since 2014, Uganda’s tourism sector has topped the foreign exchange earnings ahead foreign remittances and coffee.
This, according to Ephraim Kamuntu, the Minister of Tourism has come with little investments in the sector meaning that bigger investments in the sector would attract bigger returns. The tourism sector was Uganda’s top revenue earner in the 1960s before the country swallowed by political unrest and political turmoil.