BRAZZAVILLE, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nov. 21 (UPI) — Two orphaned baby mountain gorillas will get a new sanctuary in the Congo, described by wildlife experts as a “paradise,” authorities said.
Ndeze and Ndakasi were orphaned two years ago when their mothers were killed in Virunga National Park, possibly by people illegally harvesting trees for charcoal, CNN reported Friday.
The orphans will be moved to the Senkwekwe Center, 2 1/2-acre plot of forest 3 miles from the mountain gorilla habitat in Virunga. Of the world’s 700 surviving mountain gorillas, 200 live in Virunga Park, the U.S. news network said.
Authorities began construction of the center in 2007, but work was interrupted by civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they said.
The center, with holding areas, visiting and education centers and veterinary facilities, is scheduled for completion in March.
“This (will be) paradise for them,” Samantha Newport, Virunga’s communications director, said. “They will be able to play around, climb trees and eat forest food.”
Copyright 2009 by United Press International