MUSANZE - It is one of the rarest occasions. A Mountain Gorilla in the Volcanoes National Park in the Northern Province gave birth to a pair of twins, this week.
According to Rica Rwigamba, the Director of Tourism at Rwanda Development Board (RDB), both the mother and babies — one male and a female — were in good shape.
In an interview with The New Times, Rwigamba said that the mother. named Ruvumu from Susa family, produced twins on her third birth within a period of about 10 years, a promising sign that conservation efforts for the endangered species are paying off.
“Her first born was named in 2005 and the second named in 2009 and now we have the twins. It means there are just four years in between the babies,” she added.
“To us this is good news. The first twins will be named in this year’s Gorilla naming ceremony and they were also born in the same group,” Rwigamba said.
It is only the seventh time in the last 40 years that a gorilla has given birth to twins. The other pair, which will be named in the forthcoming Kwita Izina (Gorilla naming) ceremony, were born in February this year.
Twenty two baby mountain gorillas will be named on June 18 in a ceremony to be held in Kinigi, Musanze. However, according to Rwigamba, the new-born twins will be named next year.
Less than 800 mountain gorillas are thought to remain in the wild, though, the numbers are promisingly increasing, with few more births recorded since the beginning of the year.
Meanwhile Rwigamba said that preparations for the Kwita Izina ceremony are in full gear with a number of high profile guests confirming attendance. She said details on the list of celebrities to attend would be announced next week.
Rwigamba said that currently, names for each baby gorilla are being profiled through the media, because each of the names has a story behind it, in the quest to conserve and protect the primates.