Conservationists are chest thumping as they join Uganda Wildlife Authority in celebrating more animal births. Following last year’s baby boom of mountain Gorillas, this year has also witnessed births of iconic species in Uganda.
Bitukura Gorilla group in Ruhija registered a delightful birth of yet another addition to the gorilla numbers on 28th July, 2021. The number of family members now goes up to 13. Adult Female Kanoel was sighted just after birth cuddling and grooming the new born in a very protective way from the prying eyes of the monitoring team of rangers. Throughout the monitoring, the mother gorilla dedicated her time to breast feeding and grooming the infant. Having opened for tourism in 2008 with only 8 members, Bitukura group has grown in gorilla numbers over the years, a manifestation of Uganda’s concerted and consistent efforts to conserve the mountain gorillas in the country.
The results of the mountain gorilla census released in 2020 indicated that the population of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park had increased to 459 individuals from 400 in the census of 2014.
The gorilla birth followed the great news of added number of rhinos thanks to a new member in Nakasongola District. The male calf born at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is the latest member to be added to the delicate specie. The calf was given birth to by Kori one of the oldest female Rhinos. Uganda Wildlife Authority recently took over management of the sanctuary to protect and manage the rhinos from Rhino fund Uganda.
The Executive Director Sam Mwandha was delighted to hear the news especially after the loss of Nandi to natural causes recently. He saluted UWA staff for doing a tremendous job so far to tirelessly protect the rhinos with dedication and zeal. “I want to extend my sincere gratitude to our team in Ziwa doing a great job to protect these rhinos. Am sure with such commitment, the number will only continue to soar,” he said.
The birth now brings the number of rhinos at the sanctuary to 33 in total. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary located 176km (100 miles) north of Kampala on the Gulu highway towards Murchison Falls (branch off at Nakitoma Trading centre). It is the only place where one sees rhinos in the wild in the country.
The increase in the rhino population is testament to Government strategy of maintaining the current excellent rate of rhino safety, breeding model, and the status of the sanctuary as a centre of excellence.