Bwindi Life Flourishing Despite COVID-19
Uganda Wildlife Authority celebrates another gorilla birth
The most prolific gorilla in Bwindi gave birth as the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) welcomed the fourth baby in less than 2 months.
On the morning of Thursday, August 27, 2020, the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) staff woke up to yet another ecstatic round of applause associated with the birth of a bouncing new baby gorilla to the mother named “Kibande” of the Rushegura gorilla family in the Buhoma sector of BINP. Kibande’s new birth marks her fifth surviving offspring and raises the Rushegura family size to 17 members.
The birth further attests to mother Kibande as Rushegura family’s most senior lady and king maker. Estimated to have been born on January 2, 1982, mother Kibande is now aged 38 years making her the most enduring gorilla mum.
Kibande’s first offspring is a mature male named Karembezi who is second in command of the Rushegura family. Karembezi was born on March 1, 2001.
Her second offspring is a mature female named Munyana who coincidentally was also born on August 27, 2004. Munyana has already weaned her first born daughter named Kankwehe who also doubles as Grandma Kibande’s first granddaughter born on July 28, 2015.
The third offspring of Kibande is a formidable blackback (semi-mature male) named Kanyiindo who was born on November 15, 2008, and her fourth offspring is a vibrant juvenile male named Barekye who was born on January 5, 2016.
Grandma’s latest delivery marks the fourth birth of a baby gorilla in the Bwindi forest jungles in just less than one-and-a-half months following 3 other prior consecutive gorilla births involving adult female Nyampazi of the Mubare family that occurred on Wednesday, July 22; adult female Katoto of the Oruzogo family that occurred on Saturday, July 25; and one to a yet-to-be-named adult female in the Busingye family on Tuesday, July 28.
A statement from the UWA reads in part, “We at Bwindi INP in particular and UWA at large continue to rejoice in these and other vivid indicators of positive conservation efforts despite the prevailing COVID-19 crisis.”
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is part of the great Virunga mastiff nestled in the southwest of Uganda. It borders the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda and hosts half of the world’s population of 1,063 endangered mountain gorillas as of the latest count in December.