Characteristics of Mountain Gorillas
Characteristics of Mountain Gorillas : Today, there are less than 1000 mountain gorillas left and available for gorilla trekking. Over 400 can be found in Uganda. Mountain gorillas share 98% DNA with humans making them mans closest relatives. Trekking this unique primate specie in the African countries they are found in will give you a warm life time experience you won’t ever forget below are some of characteristics of gorillas.
A female gorilla will give birth at about the age of 10 years of age; while a male gorilla starts breeding when he’s 12-15 years a female gorilla will be able to conceive two to three days each month and will give birth after every four to five years.
Gorillas have short trunks which are thick plus broads’ chests and shoulders, the eyes and ears are dwarfed by a large muscle and its large head.
Gorillas groups can number up to 30 numbers more or even less, the gorilla groups are dominated by an older gorilla known as a Silverback. The Silverback dominates black blacks, some younger Silverbacks, female gorillas and juveniles.
Gorillas scream, stand on their hind legs, grab foliage, fetch ants in holes using stems, stamp their feet, beat their chests, gallop in a mock attack in all fours, strike the ground with their palms and stuff food in their mouths.
New born gorilla are like human babies weighing about 4 pounds, tiny and weak, the baby gorillas are suckled for about one year and then weaned at about 3 and half years when they can be independent. Baby gorillas always cling to their mothers backs.
Gorillas main predators are leopards and man. Most gorillas are hunted for meat, to be sold for private animal keeping businesses, to be used as pets and so much more. Some gorillas fall in traps set to catch other animals like antelopes.
Gorillas need a lot of food, they eat a variety of plants like bamboo shoot, stems, fruits, stinging nettles, bedstraw so gorillas eat plants with a lot of moisture the reason why they don’t take water. Gorillas are omnivorous animals eating both plants and animals.
Gorillas are gentle animals but can seriously charged when harassed or if they sense danger, the silver backs dominating the group will protect their groups to death as well as mother gorillas who will fight to death for their babies.
Mountain gorillas have thick, dark and long hair on their skins that helps them to stay warm in higher cold altitudes, the fur helps them in regulating their body temperatures as temperatures can even go to freezing point.
Mountain gorillas have their nose prints unique to each of them just like human finger prints are unique to each individual, the feet of mountain gorillas are also like those of a human being.
Mountain gorillas live in areas of higher altitudes ranging from 2200-4500 meters though the rain forests they inhabit sometimes vary in elevations above sea level.
Gorillas are susceptible to various parasites and diseases like pneumonia, cold, Ebola and so much more. They get this during the cold seasons or by tea mission from human beings.
Male mountain gorillas weigh much more than female mountain gorillas because male gorillas have got bony crests on top and at the back of their skulls.
As adult male gorillas mature in age, they develop silver fur behind their backs and dominate a gorilla group or start making up their own family.
Mountain gorillas have 32 teeth just like humans, they use it for breaking down vegetation their teeth and sharp and large. They also develop milk teeth that are permanently replaced by permanent teeth at a later age.
The upper bodies of mountain gorillas are six times more powerful than that of humans, their hands are longer than the legs this helps them in carrying heavy objects.
Female gorillas go under a gestation period of 8-9 months and give birth to one or two infants.
Male gorillas weigh over 155 kilograms and have a height about 1.73 cm.
Gorillas are the largest living primates and the last living in ape family.
Mountain gorilla permits cost $1500 in Rwanda, $600 in Uganda and $400 in Congo. Uganda also offers a gorilla habituation experience of spending four hours habituating mountain gorillas at $1500.
Mountain gorillas can only be trekked in Bwindi forest national park in Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in the Democratic republic of Congo. There are various accommodation units in all gorilla trekking national parks and where to sleep will depend on tourists’ choice and budget.