In Rwanda, Saving Mountain Gorillas by Naming Them, on World Environment Day

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For the sixth year running, Kwita Izina, or the baby gorilla naming ceremony, has been held in Rwanda, in the shadow of the Virunga mountains in Volcanoes National Park. Fourteen baby mountain gorillas were named this year during the festivities, which were held in conjunction with UNEP's World Environment Day. (One of the adorable little newborns is seen at left.) TreeHugger hosted a blogging contest with UNEP, who sponsored the winner, Tuesday Phillips of Ecolutionist, and one TreeHugger writer on the trip.

"Every birth is an important step towards achieving our vision to see the mountain gorillas move from being one of the the world's most endangered species to being some of the world's most protected animals," said CEO of Rwandan Development Board John Gara, who gave the opening remarks. Intense transboundary collaboration in law enforcement with Uganda has helped increase the mountain gorilla population by 17% during the past 15 years; however, gorillas remain endangered, with roughly 700 living the Virunga region.

Photo: Rwanda Development Board

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