Thursday, February 10, 2011

Born to be wild: Rwanda's newest baby gorillas, the rarest twins on Earth


Gorilla in the midst of motherhood: Kabatwa nurses her newborn twins in the Volcanoes National Park, in Uganda

Rare mountain gorilla twins have been born in Rwanda, conservationists said today.
The occurrence of twins in the population of mountain gorillas is extremely unusual and the new arrivals in the Volcanoes National Park are only the fifth set of twins recorded for Rwanda's gorillas.

There are fewer than 800 mountain gorillas living in the wild, according to UK-based charity the Gorilla Organisation.

Rare: There have only ever been five sets of twins born in the reserve, a haven for gorillas

The organisation said the pair were born on February 3 to Kabatwa, a member of the Hirwa group of gorillas, who was reportedly proving to be an excellent mother.

Emmanuel Bugingo, the Gorilla Organisation's programme manager in Rwanda, said: 'It is very rare to hear of mountain gorilla twins, so we were all excited to hear the news from rangers.

'The twins are both boys and we feel very positive about their future.'

Ian Redmond, chairman of the Ape Alliance coalition, and a father of twin boys, said: 'Gorilla mothers usually have only one baby every four years or so - which is one reason why they are so vulnerable - so twins give a rare double gain in one birth.

'But coping with two infants is a challenge for any parent - as my wife and I know from experience - so I wish Kabatwa, and the boys, the best of luck in the coming weeks and months.'

Twin boys: Gorillas usually only have one baby every four years

source: dailymail

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