10 Aug 2011

Baby gorilla rescued from poachers

7:18 am on 10 August 2011

Officials in Rwanda say a baby gorilla has been rescued from poachers who said they had bought it for $US15,000 in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Police rescued the male mountain gorilla, aged between 8 and 12 months, on Monday night.

Rwanda Development Board said on Tuesday that the baby's external conditions ''show that he is in good health.''

Three poachers are being held in custody.

Last month, Rwanda handed over six orphaned gorillas to the DRC after poachers smuggled them out of the country to sell as exotic pets or for consumption as bush meat.

Mountain gorillas are classified as critically endangered, with about 680 surviving in the wild, all in central Africa.

They are found in a Ugandan national park or in the Virunga Volcano Region, which straddles the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC.