As the world marked World Gorilla Day 2020 today 24th Sept, Rwanda celebrated the day in style as it named 24 gorilla infants born in the Volcanoes National park between 2019 and 2020. The 16th annual Kwita Izina” (gorilla naming ceremony) was virtual due to the COVID – 19 precautions and happens to be the first ever virtual gorilla naming ceremony conducted. Kwita Izina is an annual mountain gorilla naming ceremony that takes after the Rwandan tradition of naming new born babies for purposes of easy identification.
“Conservation and Sustainable Tourism – A Foundation for Future Generations” was the theme for this year’s gorilla naming ceremony.
The gorilla infants were named by the conservation front liners – researchers, veterinary doctors, rangers, trackers, guides, wardens, conservationists and gorilla doctors who protect and care for the mountain gorillas in the park daily, as an appreciation for their unwavering work and support towards mountain gorilla conservation.
More than 300 mountain gorillas have been named for the past 15 years in Rwanda as a strategy to preserve the natural heritage and to expand the role of eco-tourism.
World Gorilla day gives the world an opportunity to celebrate mountain gorillas, create awareness about the dire need for their conservation and to appreciate the conservation front liners who have dedicated their lives to protect and secure the future for these magnificent giants.
In the same line IGCP also officially re-launched the Gorilla FriendlyTM Pledge campaign as an attempt to amplify awareness about the mountain gorilla tourism rules and the importance of observing them especially now more than ever due to COVID-19 that scientists have confirmed can affect mountain gorillas too. The Gorilla Friendly™ Pledge is an online awareness raising campaign aimed at encouraging all those planning to visit the mountain gorillas – and even those who are not! – to pledge to observe gorilla tourism rules during treks and to share feedback on their trekking experience after the visit through the Gorilla Friendly™ Pledge website – gorillafriendly.org.
A detailed press release about these exciting developments can be accessed at IGCP WGD 2020 PRESS RELEASE