Rare, Beautiful Footage Shows 2 Wild Gorilla Moms With Their Newborn Babies

Two wild gorilla moms were spotted with their newborn babies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, rare and beautiful footage shows.

The births mark two new additions to the Bageni mountain gorilla family living in Virunga National Park, in the eastern part of the Congo.

The gorillas in the video, Tumaini and Ziada, have given birth to a female and male, a Virunga National Park spokesperson told Newsweek.

Gorillas hold babies
The footage was captured by park rangers. The gorilla population is incredibly endangered meaning each new birth is important. Virunga National Park

The father is a silverback gorilla and head of the family, called Bageni. In the video, the two gorilla's can be seen sitting side by side as they nurse their newborns, surrounded in woodland. This gorilla family now has 48 members.

The gorillas were spotted by Virunga rangers, who work to monitor the park's endangered population of mountain gorillas. There are currently only 1,000 mountain gorilla's left across the Congo, Uganda and Rwanda.

The spokesperson said that this is Tumaini's fifth child, and Ziada's second. The newborn babies have not yet been named.

Recently, rangers have been restricted in accessing certain areas in the park due to military activity, meaning they have not been able to monitor the gorilla families as easily.

"This situation is improving and rangers have been able to resume daily monitoring activities, leading to the discovery of these two births," the spokesperson said.

The park, however, remains one of the most dangerous in the world for rangers to operate. For years, rebel groups involved in years of conflict in the country have operated there and posed a danger not just to the wildlife, but the people who work to conserve it.

"Female mountain gorillas tend to give birth not more than once every four years and sometimes longer and they carry their infants on their back for approximately two years after birth," the spokesperson said. "So every new birth really matters, and that is why the steady recovery in the mountain gorilla population over recent years is such an important achievement and testament to the work and commitment of the Virunga National Park Rangers."

Most of the remaining mountain gorilla population can be found in the national park. However, this population has endured war for many years, which has caused disruption to their way of life. This has caused habitat destruction and other threats such as unregulated hunting and disease.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, these threats are "so severe" that during the 1900s, many thought the population would be extinct by the end of the 20th century.

However, over time, conservation groups have managed to implement measures to improve and boost the population. Because of this, numbers have gradually been improving.

"Surveys by the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration indicate that the overall population of mountain gorillas has grown to over 1,000 from approximately 600 in 2016 and just 480 in 2010," the Virunga National Park spokesperson said.

"It takes a long time for the population to recover, and the species was recently downgraded by the International Union for Conservation of Nature from critically endangered to endangered."