Virunga National Park announces 1st gorilla birth of year

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Congo’s Virunga National Park has announced the birth of a male gorilla, the first baby this year for the park that says its mountain gorilla families have been instrumental in raising the threatened species’ global population.

The park said that this is the first baby born to 10 year-old Bazirushaka and is the 12th member of the Lulengo family. The newborn was discovered by rangers on Thursday during a routine check in the park.

The Virunga National Park is home to some of the world’s last mountain gorillas whose population now stands at more than 1,000. There were 17 gorilla births in the park last year, it said.

The announcement comes about a month after the park said that gunmen shot and killed at least six rangers in the park in Nyamitwitwi, located in the Rutshuru area.

More than 200 rangers have been killed since Virunga became a national park in 1925, officials say.

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