Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is in celebration following the birth of a mountain gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Authorities in Uganda have been concerned about the dwindling gorilla numbers in the country.
According to UWA, the baby gorilla was born among the Bushaho group in Nkuringo and giving it a name will depend on how it behaves in response to tourists and its group members.
The acting area conservation manager, John Justice Tibesigwa, last Thursday revealed that the baby gorilla adds value to the gorilla population in the area.
“The newborn was discovered on August 22, a day after it was born, by our officials that monitor the movement of the habituated mountain gorillas in this area on a daily basis. The baby and mother are healthy,” Mr Tibesigwa said.
“At UWA, we are very happy that an individual has been born to increase the mountain gorilla population in our area,” he added.
Tibesigwa explained that the Bushaho group currently comprises eight members led by a male called Bahati and the mother of the newborn is called Bunyindo.
He also revealed that according to the 2011 mountain gorilla census in Uganda, 480 gorillas live in Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks.
The UWA official added that of the 36 mountain gorilla groups in Bwindi National Park, only 13 are habituated ready for tourism while the rest are wild and respond by either charging at or running away when approached by tourists.
Tibesigwa explained the mountain gorilla inter birth period observed in Bwindi and Mgahinga is about five years unlike in the neighbouring virunga national parks of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo where the inter birth period is three years. He said a pregnant mountain gorilla gives birth after about eight and a half months.
The chairperson Kigezi Tourism Sector, Ivan Mbabazi Batuma, last Friday welcomed the birth of a mountain gorilla in the area and appealed to UWA to always hold public functions when giving the baby gorillas names as a way of marketing tourism.
Batuma said there is a need for the habituation of more mountain gorilla groups to match the increasing number of tourists that track them.
Source: Daily Monitor