Baby mountain gorilla born in the Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The famous Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced on Friday the birth of a mountain gorilla in this tourist region threatened by armed groups.

The birth of a new baby boy occurred on the morning of August 22, the park’s communications officer, Olivier Mukisya, told AFP.

The discovery was made by “a team of eco-guards” during a routine monitoring visit to the gorilla house in the Kibumba area of ​​North Kivu in the east of the country, Mukisya explained.

The national park said the new baby belonged to the Baraka gorilla family, which “currently consists of about 18 individuals.”

The Baraka family records their first birth of the year and the latter brings the number to 13 since January 2021, “of all gorilla families in the region, Mukisya said.”

Situated on the borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with Rwanda and Uganda, Virunga covers around 7,800 square kilometers of the North Kivu province, of which Goma is the capital.

Opened in 1925, it is the oldest nature reserve in Africa and a sanctuary for rare mountain gorillas, which are also present in neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.

The total population of mountain gorillas in the region covering the three countries is estimated at 1,063, based on the last full count in 2018.

The Virunga gorilla retreat has also become a hideout for local and foreign armed groups that have operated in eastern DRC for some 25 years.

The eco-guards regularly clash with rebels and militias in the area.

(AFP)

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