A total of 24 chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge which is part of the famous Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area were in July,2013, given names reflecting Uganda's beauty and to ease their identification.
Chimpanzee tracking is one of the most attractive tourist activities in the country besides gorilla tracking. Kyambura gorge which is famed for its underground forest is one of the hosts to these primates besides Kibale National Park.
Like human beings, individual chimpanzees are distinguishable by their facial appearance, body and behaviour. It is, therefore, common for Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to give them names when they are born.
Among the names give to the chimps are they are fondly known by tourists and researchers were: Murungi (beauty), given to the chimp that has given birth to mostly baby boys. The name Mureefu, which reflects height, was given to one of the tallest chimps.
Other names were Miti, representing trees; Kazinga, representing Kazinga channel; Asante, which means thank you; Tatenkazi, a paternal aunt; Namanya, meaning (God knows); Maji, meaning water; Pamba, for Cotton and Pesa, meaning money.
"Naming such endangered species is very important because you should not allow to lose record and history as a country," says Nicole Simmons, a researcher and specialist in Chimpanzees with Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust. The organization has been supporting UWA's efforts to conserve the chimps.
At the naming ceremony, conservationists had an extra reason to celebrate: the number of chimps in the Park has increased from 20 to 24 within two years.
The Conservation Area Manager Mr. Nelson Guma, says the increase in the number of Chimpanzees will boost tourism both in the area and in the country. He adds that they (chimps) are the second most attractive species after lions for tourists in the park.
However, human encroachment on Katsyoha-Kitomi forest, which formerly connected with Kyambura gorge, has made it difficult for the chimpanzees to move and search for food.