KATWE GORILLA FAMILY

The Katwe Gorilla group is the latest addition to the gorilla families of the Buhoma section of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda. Initially Buhoma sector had only three habituated mountain gorilla groups including Mubare gorilla group, Rushegura gorilla group and Habinyanja gorilla group.

This comes at a time where a recent survey documented 604 mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), the largest number of mountain gorillas ever recorded in the transboundary Virunga Massif, one of the two remaining areas where this Critically Endangered great ape is still found. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda published figure of 400 mountain gorillas hence putting the total to an estimated 1,004 mountain gorillas.

It took close to three years to completely habituate the Katwe gorilla family located in northern part of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The inclusion of Katwe family means that the number of gorilla permits available daily for trekking in Buhoma region has increased from 24 to 32 gorilla permits since there are now four families. It should be noted that each habituated gorilla family is supposed to be trekked by a maximum 8 people for one hour.

The exact number of members in the Katwe group is not well known as yet but reliable sources claim the group has about 10 members including 1 dominant silverback,3 black-backs, 4 adult females and 2 babies.

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