Natalie Portman was one of many celebrities that participated in the naming of 23 highly endangered baby mountain gorillas in a Rwandan wildlife park on June 30.
The baby gorillas were not removed from their natural habitat. For that reason children wearing costumes were representing the babies at the ceremony.
Portman named a baby gorilla "Ahazaza" meaning "future."
Deceased "Crocodile Hunter," Steve Irwin was also represented at the ceremony through the naming of baby gorilla "Ingufu" ("strength" in Kinyarwanda). John Stainton, Irwin's former manager in attendance, is quoted by news.com as saying, "We had been planning to come here for some years."
"We were going to come and do the mountain gorillas."
"But unfortunately that wasn't to be with the tragedy last year."
"But having this honor to come and name a gorilla in honor of Steve Irwin takes away a sad memory."
"Steve would have been absolutely thrilled."
Director general of the Rwanda tourism office, Rosette Rugamda, stated, "We have every good reason to celebrate the birth of these gorillas because the benefits they have brought to our country and people speak volumes."
There are approximately 700 gorillas left in the world with half living in the area of the Virunga volcanoes straddling Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.