In the past six weeks, mountain gorillas living in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park have been experiencing a baby boom. Seven infants have been born since January, and five in the last six weeks, compared to just three during the entirety of 2019. “The Rushegura gorilla family welcomes another bouncing cute baby gorilla,” announced the Ugandan Wildlife Service (UWS).
In 2018 the mountain gorilla was removed from the critically endangered list after conservation efforts proved successful. However, sadly, there are only 1,000 of the endangered mountain gorillas in existence, so the new births are vital for the survival of the species.
According to the BBC, the baby boom coincided with the park’s decision to test out visits to primate locations, which had been paused due to COVID-19. Since primates share so much human DNA, there were concerns that they would be particularly susceptible to catching the virus. Human visits have been on hold since March, but now small groups of visitors are being allowed into protected areas, as long as they socially distance and wear face masks.
The mountain gorilla species resides primarily in protected areas in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to Bwindi National Park, they can also be found in parks in the Virunga Massif mountain range.