A baby gorilla was recently rescued from poachers during a smuggling attempt in Rwanda, the World Wildlife Fund announced on Tuesday.
The female gorilla, believed to be less than one-year old, was in the hands of a group of Rwandan and Congolese men when they were met with authorities. The smugglers have since been arrested and an investigation is currently underway.
The baby gorilla is named Ihirwe, which means luck in the African language of Kinyarwanda, according to CNN.
Caretakers estimate that the frightened animal will go through a 30-day "quarantine period" and return to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she will join other orphaned gorillas.
"The young female is now in the care of vets in Rwanda. The rescue highlights the challenges that we're still facing with animals being illegally traded as pets or for their parts," WWF spokesperson Caroline Behringer told Discovery News.
The news of the baby gorilla's rescue comes less than two weeks after the International Fund for Animal Welfare confirmed the rescue of six orphaned gorillas.
The two-day operation moved the gorillas, estimated to be aged 5 to 8 years old, one by one to the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) center in the DRC. The rescue center in the DRC is a state-of-the-art facility, with resources available to provide care for up to 30 young gorillas.
The six gorillas were seized as infants and kept by poachers in Rwanda, according to a statement released by the IFAW on July 25.
"The rescue of these young orphaned gorillas . . . has been an amazing story of collaboration among many partners, each with special expertise. We are grateful to IFAW for making the helicopter airlift to GRACE possible, so that gorillas can safely begin their new life in the best possible location, as they prepare for eventual re-release to the wild," said Clare Richardson, Fossey Fund President and CEO, in a statement.
About the rescued gorillas:
The baby gorilla is of the mountain gorilla species. The WWF estimates that there are only 786 mountain gorillas remaining in the world.
Most mountain gorillas live in the volcano range of the Uganda-Rwanda-DRC border.
The six rescued gorillas are Grauer gorillas. There are less than 5,000 Grauer gorillas living in the world; the decrease in numbers has been the result of poaching and habitat destruction.
The rescue of the six gorillas was largely funded by the IFAW, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (Fossey Fund), the Rwanda Development Board and Disney's Animal Programs.
The GRACE facility, where the six rescued gorillas will be nurtured in, includes a natural habitat that spans more than 350 acres.