Uganda Baby Gorillas’ Boom
Since the year 2020 began, Uganda so far has recorded a baby boom among mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
According to Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), five babies have been born in a period of six weeks in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of East Africa’s most prized tourism assets. Bwindi National Park is located near Uganda’s south western border with Democratic Republic of Congo.
The latest, born in the last weekend of August, bringing the total born this year to seven compared to only three that were born last year. The baby gorillas were born in same Rushegura gorilla family which has greatly increased members of the group found in Buhoma sector in the north of Bwindi. Other gorilla sectors of Bwindi include Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo sector.
The baby gorillas have brought excitement to the conservationists whose efforts are mainly geared towards protecting the endangered primates that were declared two years ago from being critically endangered to endangered only.
“This is highly unusual, it’s an incredible blessing. As conservationists we are chest-thumping, we are excited,” said Bashir Hangi, the spokesman for UWA.
Tourism is one of Uganda’s major sources of revenue, with visitors flocking to its national parks across vast savannah expanses to see elephants, lions, giraffes, rhinos and other big game.
A 320 square kilometer patch of dense tropical forest, Bwindi is home to a range of animals including primates, elephants, antelopes and other wildlife.
The “impenetrable” in its name alludes to the dense tropical forest that covers much of the park. Tourists are mostly drawn to the park by its estimated 500 mountain gorillas, assumed to be half of the world’s gorilla population.
Whenever baby gorillas are born, it gives hope to gorilla tourism in the country. Gorilla trekking in Uganda done in Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park contributes the biggest percentage to tourism earnings.
Hangi said that the baby boom was testimony that the country’s conservation efforts were yielding results despite some reported cases of poaching and other threats to wildlife.
In July this year, a court sentenced a man to 11 years in prison for killing a 25-year-old Silverback gorilla named Rafiki, who was a leader of Nkuringo group, one of the gorilla families of Nkuringo sector in the south of Bwindi forest.