As part of an annual tradition, Rwanda names 24 baby gorillas as a symbol of the importance of the animals to the country.
The event marked the continuation of the success that Rwanda is having in its conservation practices, as this year there were 24 new babies to name, which is more than last year’s 18 and the 17 that were counted two years back.
Naming each baby points out just how much the country values each and every one of the gorillas and it is the universal hope of Rwandans that one day these animals will be so many that their endangered status will become history.
The president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, was present at the ceremony as a multitude of special guests including country officials and scientists that dedicate their lives to conservation projects.
It seems that bring people to see the Rwandan gorillas has proven to be quite the successful business opportunity, as a tourist pays up to $750 for a gorilla tracking session in Rwandan natural parks.
“Conservation efforts show that the first beneficiaries of protecting the environment are citizens,” said President Kagame.
The ecotourism has brought in an impressive revenue for Rwanda and the money has been invested to bring up the country by building schools, houses, roads and providing the necessary tools for people to get clean drinking water.
Furthermore, the conservation efforts are making the gorilla population increase considerably, as they currently number 301 according to official data. However, it seems that in reality, this number might be even more impressive, as it reaches as many as 500 individuals.
“Hopefully the continuation will soon be no longer to call them an endangered species,”said Rwanda’s chief of tourism Yamina Karitanyi.
Since bringing the actual baby gorillas would have been stressful for both the babies and their parents, the ceremony was centered on 24 people who wore gorilla costumes and who growled happily upon receiving their very own name.
Among the names that were given to the baby gorillas were what translates as Courage, Power, Thank You and Wish, but also Battle, Leader and even Famous.
The Rwandan naming ceremony is a impressive tradition that pays homage to preserving life for our planet and reminds us that every single individual should be celebrated, because each and every glimmer of life is special in its own way.
Image Source: smithsonianmag