Kanyonyi was named after his birth place which was one of the hills called Kanyonyi meaning a bird. This hill does not have many birds but probably had a spectacular bird species for which it was named. He is so attracted to visitors and will always come forward and parade to viewing visitors. He likes fun and is very cheerful.
Born in November 1994, Kanyonyi is a son to Ruhondeza and Kashongo. His mother Kashongo “cataract” (she had a cataract in the left eye) was found in the group since habituation. She died early 2009.
Together with Ruhondeza, Kashongo left a brother to Kanyonyi a beautiful and humble baby now juvenile that is so playful called Malaika which means an angel. Malaika was born on September 20, 2002. Kanyonyi is extremely friendly to the two juveniles in the group Malaika and Muyambi.
Without the Silverback Ruhondeza, Kanyonyi most probably will lead this group. On several occasions he has been seen taking over his fathers challenges as himself he is ageing. Nevertheless he still respects and follows Ruhondeza.
His elder sister, Kahara, was the first and so far only mountain gorilla to have a rectal prolapse operation, which was conducted in the email. Rectal prolapses are caused when straining to defecate. The organism that resulted in this condition was not confirmed. However the operation carried out by CTPH Founder and CEO was successful and in 2001, Kahara left the Mubare group to start a new family of her own.