Primatologist Dian Fossey predicted the species would go extinct by 2000, but intense monitoring and care have given the great apes a second chance.
"It is the only responsible decision that we can make under the current circumstances," the park's warden said.
Intense fighting between rebel factions and the Congolese army spread to Virunga Park this week, threatening a critical UNESCO world heritage site and the endangered mountain gorillas.
Across the globe, hundreds of animal species face a grave and increasing threat of extinction. While many of these animals