Baby Gorillas Named in Effort to Save Endangered Species

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Source: Keiko Mori/Kwita Izina

Source: Keiko Mori/Kwita Izina

While the internet continues to “preserve” the spirit of Harambe the gorilla in the form of memes and jokes, baby gorillas were recently named in Rwanda in an effort to conserve the endangered mountain gorilla species.

Twenty-two baby gorillas were officially named at the 12th “Kwita Izina” naming ceremony, an annual event held each year in Kinigi, Rwanda since 2005. The ceremony names newborn gorillas in order to monitor and track each and every mountain gorilla, or Gorilla beringei beringei.

Besides naming the gorillas, the ceremony raises money throughout the week-long fair, which features speeches, performances, and lectures, as well as promoting awareness about the species whom the World Wildlife Fund decrees “critically endangered.”

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Source: @Kwitaizinia Twitter

Source: @Kwitaizinia Twitter

There are currently only 880 mountain gorillas surviving, half of which are in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Uganda. Threats in the form of poaching, charcoal making, disease, and civil conflict by humans in the 20th century devastated their one-time home in the Virunga Mountains, but numbers are going up thanks to ongoing conservation efforts. Between 2003 and 2010, the population increased from 380 to 480 according to the Rwandan Development Board.

People can support the mountain gorilla by donating to the World Wildlife Fund, or even adopting a gorilla through their official website. Other gorilla species, such as the western lowland gorilla, which Harambe falls under, can also be supported.

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