By 3 News online staff
Twenty-four gorillas recently named during an official ceremony in Rwanda not only have new identities, but they're creating awareness for wildlife conservation.
The animals were named as part of the Rwanda Development Board's annual Kwita Izina – a ceremony in its 11th year, and hosted at the foothills of the Virunga Mountains.
This year's theme was 'conserving now and for the future', and Saturday's ceremony attracted thousands of visitors.
"The centuries-old tradition now serves to play a significant role in the monitoring of each individual gorilla in their habitat and with their families," says the board's head of tourism and conservation, ambassador Yamina Karitanyi.
"The Kwita Izina ceremony is a demonstration of the commitment to the conservation of Rwanda's wildlife by the local communities, conservation groups, researchers, rangers, and tourists."
Gorilla naming is a tradition in Rwanda, and is an important part of the country's culture.
The ceremony was introduced in 2005 with the hopes of creating awareness for endangered mountain gorillas.
The baby gorillas involved in this year's ceremony were each named based on their personality, birth circumstances or a hope for their future.
Two of the names chosen were Icyifuzo, which translates to wish, and Guhuza, meaning come together.
The Rwanda Development Board has been working to slowly grow the gorilla population, with the country seeing a 26.3 percent increase between 2003 and 2010.