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.