Monday, December 22, 2008

War babies in the Congo

Earlier this month, gorilla park rangers were delighted to encounter five new Mountain Gorilla babies on the slopes of Mount Mikeno, all the more remarkable given the continuing armed conflict in the country.
The park director, Emmanuel de Merode, later described the discovery of five newborns at the outset of a month-long census as “quite phenomenal”, given that the endangered gorillas’ habitat has long been a war zone in the conflict-ridden Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“They’ve had a growth of about 11 per cent in 10 years, less than two per cent a year. To get five births in a group of 30 is about 15 per cent growth. It’s quite tremendous and very unusual,” he said.

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