The population—made famous by a series of murders in 2007—has grown by nearly 13 percent in the last 16 months, despite having no protection from civil war or poaching for 15 months, park rangers said Monday.
"That the mountain gorilla population has increased in this environment is quite spectacular," said Emmanuel de Merode, head of the 680-strong Virunga ranger force.
The new tally brings the Virunga mountain gorillas to an estimated 211—including 10 babies born during the rangers' absence.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Extraordinary Growth in Mountain Gorilla Population
Surprisingly, the mountain gorillas have prospered under the rule of the Congo rebels. In contrast, the 2007 murders of 10 gorillas occurred under the Congolese government's control.