See photos of adorable baby gorillas named in a ceremony created to save their species.

This newborn baby gorilla has a lot to celebrate today (besides its stylish hair).

Isaro's baby is one of the 22 to be named in the Kwita Izina this year. Photo by Keiko Mori/Kwita Izina.

On Sept. 2, this little guy was one of 22 baby gorillas who was officially named in a Rwandan ceremony called Kwita Izina that will help conserve his endangered population.

The Kwita Izina naming ceremony helps officials monitor and track individuals and families in their habitat as well as raise awareness for conservation efforts. It also promotes awareness about the endangered species and helps conservation efforts to rehabilitate the population.


The mountain gorilla is currently listed as "critically endangered" by the World Wildlife Fund, but thanks to conservation efforts in the region, their numbers have been climbing. Each newborn gorilla is a critical part of the community, and this ceremony helps to solidify that.

Izuru's newborn baby gorilla. Photo by Keiko Mori/Kwita Izina.

2016 marks the 12th ceremony since its inception in 2005. The events and ceremony are staged in Kinigi, near the park where the gorillas live.

Half of the fewer than 900 surviving mountain gorillas live in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in Uganda.

A gorilla picks foliage to eat in a clearing on the slopes of Mount Mikeno in the Virunga National Park on Nov. 28, 2008. Photo by Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images.

The Virunga Mountains was a diverse and thriving refuge for the gorillas until the 20th century, when deforestation devastated the community.

Later in the century, when human developments moved closer to the gorillas' habitat, they were forced to go higher into the mountains and endure colder temperatures, which the species has not adapted to survive in.

Poaching, illegal charcoal harvesting, disease spread from human contact, and recent civil conflict have also negatively affected the mountain gorillas.

Amahoro's baby, one of the new mountain gorillas to be named in this year's ceremony. Photo by Keiko Mori/Kwita Izina.

The Kwita Izina ceremony has become an integral part of the mountain gorilla conservation efforts in Rwanda.

The naming ceremony is the culminating event of a weeklong fair that includes a gala dinner to raise money for conservation as well as lectures, activities for students, and a craft exhibition.

The ceremony, which is derived from a Rwandan tradition of naming babies soon after they are born, features speeches and performances.

Rwandan children perform in baby gorilla costumes for as part of the seventh annual Kwita Izina ceremony in 2011. Photo by Steve Terrill/AFP Getty Images.

Events like this are crucial to efforts for preventing these gorillas from disappearing. The fundraising involved with the ceremony helps support anti-poaching patrols and reforesting efforts, and one of the main components of the ceremony is the week of events leading up to it that raise money and awareness in the community.

Armed rangers patrolling in the Virunga National park in Rwanda to protect the habitat of Agashya family mountain gorillas. Photo by Aude Genet/AFP/Getty Images.

The number of mountain gorillas in the region grew from 380 in 2003 to 480 in 2010, according to the Rwandan Development Board.

A PLoS One study in 2011 revealed that in about 70% of the population was habituated for research and ecotourism in 2008. The study found that, "nearly 20,000 tourists visited habituated groups in Rwanda in 2008, generating approximately $8 million in revenue for the park service and providing local employment."  

These improvements and increase in awareness have helped in raising the gorilla population. But with the increased exposure of the gorillas to humans through tourism there is the risk that disease can spread and harm the gorilla community.

Gukina's baby gorilla, one of the 22 to be named this year. Photo by Keiko Mori/Kwita Izina.

The mountain gorilla isn't out of the woods yet — though it's bouncing back slowly — and it's all thanks to the conservation efforts in Rwanda and other countries the population is getting this chance to survive and thrive.

The Kwita Izina naming ceremony is a reminder that there is hope on the horizon for these baby gorillas to grow up in a safe and stable community.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less
via Kim Kardashian West / Twitter

It's not hard for most people to make fun of the Kardashians. But this week it got even easier after Kim tweeted she took a birthday getaway to Tahiti with her friends and family — during a deadly pandemic.

"After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time," she tweeted.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Ah, the awkward joy of school picture day. Most of us had to endure the unnatural positioning, the bright light shining in our face, and the oddly ethereal backgrounds that mark the annual ritual. Some of us even have painfully humorous memories to go along with our photos.

While entertaining school picture day stories are common, one mom's tale of her daughter's not-picture-perfect school photo is winning people's hearts for a funny—but also inspiring—reason.

Jenny Albers of A Beautifully Burdened Life shared a photo of her daughter on her Facebook page, which shows her looking just off camera with a very serious look on her face. No smile. Not even a twinkle in her eye. Her teacher was apologetic and reassured Albers that she could retake the photo, but Albers took one look and said no way.

Keep Reading Show less
via Ted-Ed / YouTube

Trees are one of the most effective ways to fight back against climate change. Like all plants, trees consume atmospheric carbon through photosynthesis then store it in their wood tissue and in the surrounding soil.

They work as an organic vacuum to remove the billions of pounds of carbon dioxide that humans have dumped into the atmosphere over the past century.

So, if trees are going to be part of the war on climate change, what strategies should we use to make the best use of their amazing ability to repair the Earth? How can we be sure that after planting these trees they are protected and don't become another ecological victim of human greed?

Keep Reading Show less