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Uganda Wildlife Service Welcomes the Pitter Patter of Little Feet

Five baby gorillas have been born in six weeks in Bwindi National Park, leading the Ugandan Wildlife Service (UWS) to declare a baby boom. Announcing the latest birth, the UWS said: “The Rushegura gorilla family welcomes another bouncing cute baby gorilla”. Seven babies have been born since January compared to three for the whole of 2019, according to the UWS. Mountain gorillas are endangered with just over 1,000 in existence. The UWS told the BBC that this year was unprecedented for gorilla births but it is not clear why there has been this uptick. The five recent births were to different families, not to the same family, as we initially reported. BBC Africa correspondent Catherine Byaruhanga says the baby boom comes as the parks are testing out visits to primate locations, which were stopped due to coronavirus. In March, most of Uganda’s tourism sector was shut down and the industry is slowly opening up but primates are of particular concern as they share so much of our DNA. Now, small groups of visitors are allowed into protected areas as new safety procedures, such as wearing face masks and social distancing, are tried out. Poaching has also been a major worry for authorities especially during the lockdown.