One week after a man was sentenced to 11 years in jail for killing Rafiki, a beloved gorilla living in a Ugandan national park, two new baby gorillas have been discovered in the same park.
The babies were born in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in July to separate groups of gorillas, and both families are comfortable in the presence of humans. The newborns are part of a "baby boom in the protected forest popular with tourists," reports The Associated Press.
Mountain gorillas were previously on the "critically endangered" list, but were moved to the less severe "endangered" list in 2018, thanks to conservation efforts. But funding for gorilla protection relies largely on tourism, which has taken a dive due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving conservationists concerned.
There are roughly 1,000 mountain gorillas living in Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda, the highest figure ever recorded, per the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
After losing Rafiki, Bashir Hangi, a spokesman for Uganda Wildlife Authority, said the births are "a sign of relief."/AP