By Brent Furdyk.

Prince Charles has given a name to a baby gorilla in Rwanda, and the Prince of Wales selected a moniker full of meaning.

“The name I give him is Ubwuzuzanye, which means ‘harmony,’ since the restoration of harmony and balance between nature, people and planet is the most critical issue facing humanity that we must tackle with extreme urgency,” said Charles during the annual Kwita Izina Gorilla Naming Ceremony, held by the Rwandan Development Board on Friday, Sept. 2.

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“Otherwise these, and other magnificent creatures and their precious habitats, will be lost forever,” added the lifelong conservationist, proclaiming himself to be “most touched” by the honour of naming the four-month-old gorilla.

“Rwanda is embarking on an ambitious project to expand Africa’s oldest national park, Volcanoes National Park,” he continued. “This once-in-a-generation initiative will expand the park by approximately 23%. This expansion of the Volcanoes National Park will, I hope, ensure a bright future for the mountain gorillas that call it home.”

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According to a press release from Clarence House, as reported by People, the ceremony has been held annually since 2005, and was based upon a centuries-old Rwandan tradition of naming children while surrounded by family and friends.

“By giving a name to these majestic animals, we give them a value they undoubtedly deserve,” Visit Rwanda detailed in a statement. “The ceremony is an opportunity to thank the communities that live around Volcanoes National Park, our research partners, vets and the dedicated conservationists, rangers and trackers who protect the gorillas.”


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Ellen Bullock