Titus Gorilla Family in Rwanda What’s so special about Titus gorilla family in Rwanda? Speaking…
Every September, Rwanda holds kwita inzina gorilla naming, a week-long program of events designed to generate money and awareness for the country’s mountain gorillas’ ongoing protection and habitat extension.
The Kwita Inzina Gorilla Naming includes a conference, workshops, and the highlight: a naming ceremony for the gorillas born in the nation’s Volcanoes National Park over the previous year. It is one of the most renowned conferences in the world for conservation and sustainable tourism.
Invited visitors enter the large, silverback-shaped bamboo stage where each baby gorilla is given a carefully selected name based on its behavior and individual character qualities. Rwandans think that this will bring good fortune and have a significant impact on the infants’ destiny.
Each year, thousands of people attend the celebrations, which feature traditional music, dancing, and performances by local students and artists. Conservationists, rangers, and communities, as well as international dignitaries, celebrities, and the president of the nation, attend the ceremony close to the town of Kinigi, which is situated at the base of the Virunga Massif.
The successful trekking program to visit the gorillas in their forest habitat is one of Rwanda’s conservation and responsible tourism efforts that benefits both people and wildlife. According to estimates, a single mountain gorilla that has become “habituated” can indirectly make $3 million in tourism revenue over the course of its lifespan. Volcanoes National Park and three other protected wildlife areas across the nation receive funding from the sale of trekking permits to observe the gorillas. Also, natives employed as vets, researchers, trackers, porters, and guides, as well as those working in safari lodges and camps, receive 10% of the tourism industry’s revenue.
The kwita inzina gorilla naming ritual is important because it not only raises money and promotes conservation by encouraging Rwandans to enjoy and protect their natural and cultural heritage.
The mountain gorilla study station known as Karisoke was established by American primatologist Dian Fossey in the thickly wooded highlands of the Virungas, one of just two remaining strongholds for the species (the other is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda). To carry on Fossey’s work through education, financing for park rangers, and community initiatives, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI) collaborates closely with the Rwandan government today.
We have a lot to be proud of. Mountain gorilla populations are increasing while those of all other great apes are declining. In the Virunga Massif, just 242 people were counted in the 1980s; today, more over 600 people traverse the area. The IUCN downgraded the species from “critically endangered” to “endangered” in 2018, with an additional 400 in Bwindi.
Almost 280 young gorillas have received names since Kwita Izina began, each one carefully chosen to honor the infant’s unique history and lineage or to invoke luck and protection. In Rwanda, names have long been important since it is thought that they affect a newborn’s personality and chances for the future, helping to mold their course through life. Prior to Kwita Izina, the park received it.
Just as our own names provide meaning and connection to our past, place, and relatives, those assigned to the gorillas also help rangers and researchers to monitor the progress of individuals within their family groups and across their ranges.
By introducing each baby to the world at Kwita Izina and attributing them a unique title, statistics are brought to life: the gorillas are not only being recognized as new additions to their families, but also welcomed as precious gifts by the people of Rwanda, and the international community.