Virunga celebrates the births of 7 baby mountain gorillas in 6 weeks

Mapuwa family: Mothers Sebutimbiri and Bitangi

Virunga’s rangers couldn’t be happier with the way 2018 has begun. The first of seven births happened on January 7th, when Sebutimbiri of the Mapuwa family gave birth to a boy. Several days later four more babies were born within five days of each other. With January in the books, rangers understandably thought they had seen the last of the excitement for a while. The Bageni family proved them wrong. On February 4th, Mivumbi gave birth to a boy and then on the 12th, Rwubaka, also of the Bageni family, gave birth to a boy.

Yes, much of this is due to good fortune, but it could never have happened without the dedication and sacrifice of Virunga’s rangers. Day in and day out, the rangers sweep the gorilla sector for snares and stay close to the gorilla families to protect them. The Gorilla Doctors also play a pivotal role in keeping the gorillas healthy and thriving.

A decade ago, there were only 720 mountain gorillas left on earth. Since then, the population has grown to just under 1000, with Virunga’s population growing among the fastest. One thousand mountain gorillas is still precious few, but the trend is moving in the right direction. If you would like to take part in making sure Virunga’s mountain gorillas continue their remarkable recovery, please consider making a donation here.

Babies, babies, and more babies…

Humba family: Janja with her latest baby, a girl.

Bageni family: A contented looking Rwubaka with her second baby, a boy.

Bageni family: Mivumbi with her third baby, a boy.

Humba family: Bonane with her latest baby, a girl.

Silverback Humba (left) gently touching his baby girl as Bonane breastfeeds.

Kabirizi family: Kasai with her first born, a boy.


Thinking of a trip to Virunga? Take advantage of our low-season special on gorilla treks and meet some of these newborns!




  1. Sierra Wong March 2, 2018 Reply

    CONGRATULATIONS! That’s some of the best news I’ve heard (living in the USA) this entire year!
    Thank you for all the wonderful work you do!

  2. Noelle David March 2, 2018 Reply

    Incredible and beautiful. Thank you for all of the hard work you are doing as it is well known that you have not only a tough job helping these creatures and other fauna survive but staying safe while doing so. I live in America and I needed some good news–this was not only good news, it was AMAZING news.

  3. Claire March 3, 2018 Reply

    I easily join the congratulatory messages already published. My wholehearted thanks to you all for this amazing result. May you all continue on the same path for a rewarding achievement.

  4. Shannon l March 3, 2018 Reply

    Congratulations to all work with and in Virunga National Park! Let’s hope for more healthy and safe families

  5. Pat March 3, 2018 Reply

    Good news!
    Keep it up…
    Congrats to all team!
    Peace to our lost rangers!

  6. Joe Walker March 3, 2018 Reply

    Such great news and what a start for 2018!! Keep up the great work… 🦍👍

  7. Bonnie Ford March 4, 2018 Reply

    Thank you for what you all in Virunga National Park do, heroic and world changing on many levels. I hope to visit Virunga later this year.

  8. Claeys Marianne March 4, 2018 Reply

    Proficiat. Heerlijk nieuws. Ik word er blij en gelukkig van. Welgemeende Belgische knuffels 💖

  9. Kari Egge March 4, 2018 Reply

    The very best safari om my life was to visit the Gorillas in Virunga! It was perfect and I wish you all yhe best with the new babies and the safari business!

    • Mary Reinertsen March 12, 2018 Reply

      How did you get there and back? I thought it was unsafe because of political instability in that part of DRC.

  10. Jacques ADAM March 5, 2018 Reply

    Congrats to the parents!
    And, by the way, a lot of thanks to the team..

  11. fujimori March 6, 2018 Reply

    Bravo! Tu nous en a mis plein la vue! Je suis rassasiée juste à te lire! Super bon article et quelle réclame pour le Virunga!

  12. Julie March 6, 2018 Reply

    Having been lucky enough to visit Virunga and see the Gorilla families over a few days and witness the incredible work you do, this is amazing. Thank you.

  13. NanMcC March 15, 2018 Reply

    Greatful for all the dedication and the results of these new babies born that carry on the work.

  14. trudi March 19, 2018 Reply

    This father gorilla touch is so telling, it brings tears to my eyes

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