Kwita Izina Baby Gorilla Naming Ceremony to Be Held Virtually This Year

Kwita Izina. Discounted Mountain Gorilla Permits
Infant Gorilla in Volcanoes NP Rwanda. Photo by Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

Kwita Izina is a baby mountain gorilla naming ceremony that’s held every year in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. During this ceremony, infant gorillas born in the past year are named just like the Rwandan human naming traditional ceremony.

Kwita Izina is a conservation avenue that helps in keeping track and monitoring all the newly born mountain gorillas. It officially started in 2005 and this they will be marking 15 years of gorilla naming.

Before Kwita Izina was officially started, baby mountain gorillas would be named by the park ranger guides and researchers. Once it was officially opened, other conservation activities and sensitisation process were introduced. The ceremony therefore usually last a couple of days where conservation presentations are made as well as exhibitions.

During the Kwita Izina ceremony, baby mountain gorillas are given Kinyarwanda names that usually have meaning in the local Kinyarwanda language. The meaning of the name is often attributed to gorilla behavior or circumstances under which they were born.

In this years naming ceremony, 24 baby gorillas are expected to be named but virtually. This is to avoid spreading of COVID-19 disease that has affected economies worldwide bringing in the need for social distancing. For the past 14 years, the Kwita Izina ceremony would attract a number of participants numbering to a thousands. These included conservation and mountain gorilla enthusiasts and world’s famous celebrities.

Baby Gorillas to be Named

There are 24 baby gorillas that were born in the past year and will be named in this years ceremony. Some of them include the following;

Isaro infant gorilla who was born on 8th August 2019 in the Musilikale’s gorilla group. The baby’s mother Isaro joined the Musilikale group in 2017 and the whole gorilla family has 22 gorilla individuals. 10 of these are juvenile and infant gorillas and therefore this is a good group for those who are interested in baby gorillas.

Faida infant gorilla was born in the Kuryama gorilla family around August 2019. The baby’s mother is called Faida and she joined this gorilla family in 2018.

Ubufatanye infant who was born in May 2020 also in the Musilikale gorilla family. The mother is just 16 years and has two other young gorillas at the ages of 5 and 3 years.

Kanama infant gorilla was born around October 2019 also to the Kuryama gorilla family and his mother also moved to this gorilla family.

Pasika infant who was born in July 2019 in the Mafunzo family. He is a male infant gorillas and his mother Pasika joined this gorilla family in 2018.

Mahirwe infant gorilla was born to Mahirwe a female gorilla around September 2019.

Other baby gorillas to be named include Akaramata infant gorilla born around April 2019 in the Pablo gorilla group.

Mudakama infant gorilla born around September 2019 to Mudakama female gorilla who is 33 years old.

There have been many other births and the names will be revealed in the Kwita Izina Ceremony on 24th September 2020.