Facts about gorillas you didn’t know
Facts about gorillas you didn’t know: Gorillas can only be found in Africa. Unique and endangered primate species in the African Continent. In order to view mountain gorillas, tourists must travel to Uganda, Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo. The reason I say this is because there are only three countries in the world where Mountain Gorillas may still be found.
It’s a life-changing experience to trek with mountain gorillas in Africa. Some information about gorillas for anyone interested in starting on a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda or Congo:
What are Mountain Gorillas?
Also known as Gorilla Beringei Beringei, Mountain Gorillas in Africa are also called Western Gorillas. In terms of size, they are known to be the world’s biggest primate species. Two different subspecies of eastern gorillas live in Africa; mountain and Beringei gorillas. On the other hand, there’s also the eastern lowland gorilla, which lives in the thick woods of central and western Africa. As with other primates, the mountain gorilla eats only plant-based foods.
How do mountain gorillas look like?
Mountain gorillas may grow up to a height of 4-6 feet. When compared to the eastern lowland gorillas, they’re hairier primates with shorter limbs and longer hair. There is a large chest and powerful arms on the mountain gorillas, along with a dense coat of thick black hair.
Social lifestyle of gorillas
Mountain gorillas, in general, are sociable animals. In groups of 11-30, they are headed by a dominating silverback. Gorilla groups/families with less than 10 individuals are rare. Silverback gorillas are tasked with caring for the entire group. Both humans and male gorillas of other groups are protected by the silverback. For example, the silverback gorilla will defend all the babies and women from being attacked by naughty adult males in the same group when there is an internal threat.
Due to this, he would fight other male gorillas in order to keep them from mating with the females in his group. It’s a means for him to assert his dominance over the female gorillas in his group and establish his domain. Mountain gorillas within a group engage in internal battles to choose who will be the leader. During this battle, a silverback will face off against another adult male gorilla. The winner will become the dominant male gorilla and leader of the group.
They tend to be quite calm and tranquil creatures, which is why they are so popular in the wild. It’s because they’re continually on the move hunting for food that they never sleep in the same spot for two nights in a row. Gorillas grooming one another is a common sight for tourists walking in Africa’s mountain gorilla habitats. Taking care of one other’s hair is vital to gorillas, since it is a method for them to bond.
How’s the reproductive life of gorillas?
Facts about gorillas you didn’t know. Gorillas have a 257-day gestation period, which is around nine months. At the age of 7 or 8 years, female gorillas become sexually active, and they begin reproducing when they are 10 years of age or older. It is unusual for a female gorilla to give birth to twins, although it is possible for her to give birth to one or two babies. Gorillas with twins are rare in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Most twin gorilla babies die at birth or within a few weeks of birth. When a young gorilla dies, its mother generally carries it for a while before dumping it.
A female mountain gorilla typically gives birth to one youngster every 4-6 years, and only three or four infants in her lifetime, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Compared to female gorillas, male gorillas reach sexual maturity at a later age.
Mountain gorillas have a poor reproductive rate, which has a significant impact on their population numbers. After millennia of population decrease, this makes it difficult for these species to swiftly increase their numbers.
Where do mountain gorillas live?
Only Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are home to mountain gorillas, also known as western gorillas. To view mountain gorillas in the wild, tourists must book a gorilla trekking excursion in one of the nations indicated above. Mountain gorillas may be found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to mountain gorillas.
How much do gorillas weigh?
Men of the mountain gorilla species weigh between 120 and 220 kilograms (260 to 485 pounds), making them the world’s biggest primates. Females can weigh from 68 and 113 kilograms, or 150 and 250 pounds. It is estimated that an adult mountain gorilla male may weigh over 136 kilograms (approximately 195-220 pounds). A mature female mountain gorilla can weigh between 86 and 113 kg.
Baby gorillas are typically referred to be infants since they weigh between 3-5 pounds. A dominant male gorilla known as Silverback leads a troop of mountain gorillas termed a family. Most of the time, silverback gorillas will defend the other members of the group, especially the females and the young.
Life span of gorillas.
They may live up to 60 years if they’re in the wild. In zoos, mountain gorillas can live up to 40-50 years. A 60-year-old female western gorilla died in 2017 at the Columbus Zoo.
Diet of gorillas/ What do gorillas eat?
Mountain gorillas eat mostly plants. Mainly plant branches, leaves and fruits as well as bamboo shoots make up their food. Mountain gorillas may eat up to half their body weight in green foods each day, which is around 50 pounds. They also eat insects, snails, and ants, making them partly omnivorous.
How do gorillas communicate?
They use a variety of noises and motions to communicate with one other include hooting and yelling as well as yawning and chest thumping. For example, a gorilla charging as a warning indication of a predator creates a unique sound. Dian Fossey, a primatologist and conservationist from the United States, documented 17 distinct noises that mountain gorillas produce.
Threats to Mountain gorillas.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species initially categorized mountain gorillas as a severely endangered species in 1996. It was reported in November of 2018 that these gorilla species were no longer severely endangered. To the credit of different wildlife groups, mountain gorilla populations have skyrocketed.
Other dangers to the mountain gorilla population in Africa include illnesses like Ebola and tuberculosis. In addition, mountain gorilla populations are endangered by poachers who kill the gorillas for their bush meat, which is in great demand on the black market.
Loss of habitat is another serious danger to mountain gorilla populations in Africa. Deforestation, mining, and farming have all had a severe influence on the number of mountain gorillas in Africa. A recent study found that throughout Africa, just 17 percent of the mountain gorilla population resides in protected areas such as national parks and forest reserves. Due to the continual encroachment on mountain gorilla habitat, mountain gorilla populations residing outside of these protected areas are under risk.
How many mountain gorillas are left in the world?
According to the African Wildlife Foundation, the current mountain gorilla population in Africa is estimated at about 1063 individuals. It is estimated that the Virunga Massif is home to half of Africa’s mountain gorilla population.
Rules and Regulations when tracking gorillas.
Facts about gorillas you didn’t know. This means that mountain gorillas experience the same human emotions that we do, such as enjoyment, annoyance, fear and rage. Tourists hiking mountain gorillas in Africa should observe the following guidelines:
- Keep a distance of 7 meters from the gorillas at all times.
- Your movements should be limited while you are near the gorillas.
- The silverbacks, in particular, should not have their eyes fixed on you at all times.
- Traveling with airborne illnesses such as the flu and cough is not recommended.
- Before and after spending time with mountain gorillas, wash your hands thoroughly.
- Do not eat, drink, or smoke in the company of mountain gorillas. Don’t even think of trying to feed the gorillas, either.
- Take photographs of gorillas without using the flash on your camera or mobile phone.
- In the event of an attack by a gorilla, you should remain cool and lie on the ground with your head down. Panicking will just make things worse.