Rwanda National Park Sees Gorilla Baby Boom

Some 24 newly-born gorillas are attracting tourists to Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park, part of the habitat of the famous Mountain Gorilla.

A record 24 baby gorillas have been born in recent weeks within the park, which is located in the Virunga Mountains straddling Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Although it takes four hours to reach the local gorilla population, over 25,000 tourists made the trek last year alone, which has helped boost Rwanda's economy.

The boom in tourism is good news for people like local guide Placide Nkurunziza.

"[When] I started this job, I was single, but now I'm married from the money that I get from the gorillas. ... When I see the gorillas like this, ... I can say they're very important to me because I can develop my family, and also I can develop my country through the money I get from the gorillas," said Nkurunziza.

Not very long ago, the gorillas were close to extinction due to poaching and human encroachment into the great apes' territory. Presently, however, they're thought to number around 880 individuals.

It's not known what's behind the latest baby boom, but conservation efforts in recent years to save the elusive and spectacular animals are clearly paying dividends.
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