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The exciting history of Oruzogo Gorilla Group

Oruzogo, one of the newly habituated groups opened for tourism in Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has lately become exceedingly popular among the visitors due to the playful nature of its individual members and the challenging but adventurous terrain.

Named after a common plant locally known as Oruzogoto which is found in its home range, the habituation of Oruzogo group began in December 2009. The number of gorillas observed and the amount of time spent in view kept increasing as aggression towards the habituation team steadily decreased.

Through relentless efforts from the habituation team, the e population of the group, the age/sex composition, and the identity of all the individuals was subsequently established and ascertained.
Based on the level of habituation and observation conditions, the group was declared fit for tourism I late 2011 and today is one of the most popular. The other groups in the vicinity of Oruzogo include Bitukura and Kyaguriro(mostly used for research).

According to experts, habituation of mountain gorillas for tourism is a lengthy and difficult process. The exercise to habituate wild gorillas essentially requires that the gorillas lose their natural fear of humans and develop a trustful relationship with observers. In order to fully habituate a group, it must be tracked and monitored on a daily basis, and slowly over time the gorillas stop fleeing from observers and eventually they become accustomed to the presence of people.
It is also essential for the park staff to learn the group composition and identification of individual gorillas. Proper identification is important for the long-term monitoring of the group as well as ensuring that tourists have a worthwhile visit. In order to minimize the negative impacts that visitors can have on the gorillas, it is necessary to make sure that the group is well habituated before tourism begins. The gorillas need to be at a stage where their normal social behaviors are not interrupted by visitors.

The habituation team gives names to individual gorillas according to their physical features, character and other circumstances/situations encountered during habituation.

Some of the key individuals in this family include Silverback Bakwate(meaning he learns very fast and is intelligent),Young Silverback Busungu(hot tampered),ADF Mutesi(relaxed and calm),ADF Kakobe due to her resemblance with a baboon with a long and protruded nose, ADF Kashundwe(has a mole on her nose),ADF Nyakiina due to a hole-like depression on her nose bridge and ADF Birungi because she is pretty.

The youthful and robust Blackbacks include Kaganga who is the most stout with a protruding crest, Bwoba meaning coward,Otaka who is small but tranquil/peaceful.

Some of the identifiable juvenile gorillas include Karimi(meaning tongue) because its fond of sticking her tongue out while playing , Kashura due to its protruding hairless eyebrow and Kiromba with a significantly .Infants include Kanywani(friendly),Katoto(little one and the smallest) and Buchura(meaning last born/the youngest).

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