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Ugandan gorilla family in Bwindi park has ‘baby boom’



image copyrightUganda Wildlife Authority

image captionRuterana is the latest gorilla in her family group to give birth

Five new babies have been born in six weeks to one gorilla family, leading the Ugandan Wildlife Service (UWS) to declare a baby boom.

Announcing the latest birth, the UWS said: “The Rushegura gorilla family welcomes another bouncing cute baby gorilla”.

The family, which now has 18 members, lives in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in south-western Uganda.

Mountain gorillas are endangered with just over 1,000 in existence.

  • Africa Live: Updates on this and other stories

  • ‘Conservation successes’ bring hope for mountain gorilla
  • What animals are at risk?

The UWS told the BBC that this year was unprecedented for gorilla births – seven babies have been born since January compared to three for the whole of 2019.

But it is not clear why there has been this uptick.

BBC Africa correspondent Catherine Byaruhanga says the baby boom comes as the parks are testing out visits to primate locations, which were stopped due to coronavirus.

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In March, most of Uganda’s tourism sector was shut down and the industry is slowly opening up but primates are of particular concern as they share so much of our DNA.

Now, small groups of visitors are allowed into protected areas as new safety procedures, such as wearing face masks and social distancing, are tried out.

Poaching has also been a major worry for authorities especially during the lockdown.

In July, a man was sentenced to 11 years in prison over the killing of Rafiki, a silverback gorilla in Bwindi.

Around 400 gorillas live in Bwindi, in 10 family groups.

The mountain gorilla species is restricted to protected areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.

As well as Bwindi Park, they can also be found in a network of parks in the Virunga Massif range of mountains which straddle the borders of the three countries.

In 2018, the mountain gorilla was removed from the list of critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, after intensive conservation efforts, including anti-poaching patrols, paid off.

The IUCN now classifies the species as endangered.

Related Topics

  • Wildlife

  • Endangered species
  • Uganda
  • Gorillas

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21 workers trapped in flooded mine in China’s Xinjiang | China News




CCTV says rescuers have located 12 of the 21 trapped miners.

Eight miners have been rescued and 21 remain trapped in a coal mine in China’s Xinjiang region after flooding cut power underground and disrupted communications, according to state media.

The accident happened in Fengyuan coal mine in Hutubi County on Saturday evening, when staff were upgrading the site, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Rescuers had located 12 of the 21 trapped miners, broadcaster CCTV said, but it was unclear if they were all together.

Rescue personnel were trying to pump water from the flooded shaft and have been piping air into the mine.

Pipes were being laid but the pumping operation was going to be challenging, CCTV said.

Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and enforcement of regulations is often lax.

In January, 22 workers were trapped in a mine in east China’s Shandong province after an explosion damaged the entrance, leaving workers stuck underground for about two weeks.

Eleven men were pulled out alive, 10 died and one miner remained unaccounted for.

In December, 23 miners died after being trapped underground in the southwest city of Chongqing – just months after 16 others died from carbon monoxide poisoning at another coal mine in the city.

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African Champions League: CR Belouizdad join Sundowns in quarter-finals




Amir Sayoud in action for Algerian club CR Belouizdad
Amir Sayoud opened the scoring for Algerian club CR Belouizdad as they beat South African hosts Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0.

Algerian champions CR Belouizdad earned the win they needed over hosts Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa to clinch a place in the African Champions League quarter-finals.

Amir Sayoud took his tally in the competition to seven when he gave Belouizdad the lead over Sundowns in Pretoria on 29 minutes.

That advantage was doubled just before half-time as Ahmed Gasmi headed home a cross from Zinelaabidine Boulakhoua.

It was a measure of revenge for the Algerians who were embarrassed by Sundowns on home soil in the reverse fixture when the South Africans won 5-1 in February.

In Friday’s other Group B game DR Congo’s TP Mazembe, who were already out of contention to make the last eight came from behind to clinch a 2-1 win over Sudan’s Al Hilal.

The Sudanese club had needed a win to have any chance at all of progressing.

Al Hilal made the ideal start in their bid to win against former African champions Mazembe – Eid Mugadam gave them the lead after just two minutes in Lumbumbashi – but 16 minutes later Hilal contributed to their own downfall as Ivorian defender Mohamed Ouattara scored an own goal to level the game at 1-1.

Mazembe won the game thanks to a goal from Isaac Tshibangu, who scored just moments after he came on as substitute.

The draw for the quarter and semi-finals will be held on 30 April at the Confederation of African Football’s headquarters in Cairo.

Friday’s Group B results:

  • TP Mazembe (DR Congo) 2-1 Al Hilal (Sudan)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) 0-2 CR Belouizdad (Algeria)

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Ghana's farmers eye sweet success from chocolate




Ghana is the world’s second largest cocoa producer but sees little of the profits from chocolate – for now.

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