Portrait of a juvenile Mountain Gorilla eating. Kwitonda Group. This is a group of 22 individuals with three Silver Backs. The top Silver Back leads the family through the jungle and has mating rights with all the females, Kinigi, Volcanoes National Park, also known as Virunga National Park, Rwanda, East Africa. Visitors are allowed one hour with the Gorillas under very strict supervision, As the animals move through the jungle the visitors, guides & rangers follow along with the guides and rangers cutting a pathway through the jungle with machettes.
(Featured in Images of Endearment, & Other Groups.)
Mountain Gorillas, Gorilla gorilla beringei, are highly endangered with around 700 left in the wild, spread between Rwanda, Congo and Uganda. The environment is rough jungle, but due to the relatively small area available in their home range, poaching (past and present) and wars, these animals are under severe threat. There is a strong sense of the need to preserve what is left of their habitat abd population, especially in Rwanda, and great lengths are taken to reduce poaching and to protect the animals from human diseases. To increase public awareness the Governemt has declared an Annual Naming Day, when in a public ceremony at Kinigi, the President gives names to all the last year’s babies and their photos are displayed.