Arsenal players name baby gorillas in Rwanda

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Samba Cyuzuzo BBC Great Lakes

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has named a baby gorilla Igitego, meaning Goal in Kinyarwanda, in Rwanda’s first virtual naming ceremony for baby mountain gorillas.

The name is a rallying call for “collective goals” in wildlife conservation, Aubameyang said.

His teammate, Hector Bellerin, named another as Iriza – meaning first born, while goalkeeper Bernd Leno named another Myugariro – meaning defender.

The club signed a three-year £30m ($38m) sleeve sponsorship deal in May 2018 with Rwanda’s tourism agency.

Twenty-four baby gorillas (nine female and 15 male) were on Thursday given names by park rangers, veterinarians, tour guides and the three Arsenal players.

One of them was named Amabwiriza – meaning guidelines – as a call on park visitors to abide to coronavirus guidelines.

Other names given to the baby gorillas were Amarembo – gateway, Nkomezamihigo – keep it up, Kazeneza – welcome, Umuyobozi – leader and Umuganga – vet.

Some 300 gorillas have been given names since 2005 in efforts to monitor their life and protect them from poachers.