National Geographic readers can vote for the name of a gorilla baby


(Posted 30th August 2019)

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Rwanda’s Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony, Visit Rwanda has asked National Geographic social audiences to help choose the name for one of the baby mountain gorillas being named this year. Social media users can vote for their preferred name from two options on the National Geographic Facebook page and Twitter account.

The baby gorilla to be named through this exciting conservation campaign is an adventurous female infant from the Kwitonda family. A daughter to Icyamamare, the baby gorilla was born on July 1, 2018 in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. The Kwitonda family is made of 34 gorillas including three silverbacks, nine adult females, three blackbacks, five sub-adults, four juveniles and 10 infants.

The two options voters can choose from are Intego and Imyato – names suggested by the rangers, vets and trackers who interact with the gorillas on a daily basis. Intego means ‘Purpose’ because her life holds purpose in Rwanda’s effort to save endangered species. Imyato means ‘Achievement’ and pays tribute to those who have helped Rwanda thrive through conservation initiatives.

The name with the most votes from across the National Geographic platforms will be announced by the renowned National Geographic wildlife photographer Ronan Donovan on September 6, 2019 at the 15th annual Kwita Izina naming ceremony in Kinigi, Musanze at the foothills of Volcanoes National Park.

Kwita Izina is a time-honoured tradition in which Rwandan families hold a ceremony to name a newborn baby. For three decades prior to the first official gorilla naming ceremony, park rangers and researchers named Rwanda’s mountain gorilla babies as part of monitoring each gorilla in their family and habitat.

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