What an unforgettable moment. Sitting amongst a family of mountain gorillas in Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda. This youngster, named Bunyenyeri, was having a lovely time, playing with his friends.
He is part of the Umubano Group. Meaning “neighborliness”, Umubano has 9 individuals: 1 Silverback; 1 Sub adult male; 3 Adult females and 4 Babies. Led by Charles, the dominant silverback, Umubano was formerly a part of the Amahoro group. As Charles matured into a silverback of the same rank as Ubumwe, he could not stand being given orders and decided to stage a fight and challenge Ubumwe. The fight went on for weeks and then months. Finally, Charles managed to snatch from Ubumwe a few females and formed his own group. Since then, he has commanded respect and recognition from Ubumwe.
There are only 380 gorillas left in Rwanda and about 700 left on the planet. Unfortunately, even today there is still demand for baby gorillas from private zoos – buyers that are willing to acquire baby gorillas by any means necessary, including illegal poaching. The terrible reality is that many mountain gorillas are killed in the process of poaching as the adults strive to protect the baby.
This is where Dian Fossey began her work. If you want to help go to www.gorillafund.org/support/