Facts about Mountain Gorillas : Mountain gorillas are wild creatures that are quite interesting to visit and a visit to the mountain gorillas. One of the things that make these mountain gorillas unique is their closeness to the humans in behavior, physic and even in their social way of life. The mountain gorillas are another sub species of the eastern gorillas along with the eastern lowland gorillas.

The gorilla genus is divided into two species and these are eastern gorillas as mentioned above and the western gorillas which are also sub divided further into two and these are the cross-river gorillas and the western lowland gorillas commonly found in the lowland areas of the western Africa just like their name suggests. This write up highlights a few facts about the mountain gorillas and you are sure to testify to a number of these when you go for the mountain gorilla experience on your Rwanda safari.

  • Only found in 3 countries in the whole world

Mountain gorillas are endangered animal species and their numbers were last estimated at 1,063 individuals as of the last count in 2019. The mountain gorillas were even previously listed on the critically endangered animal species on the IUCN’s red list but with the continued conservation in the gorilla homes, the numbers have been seen to be growing.

The 3 countries are Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo both lying with the Albertine rift. The mountain gorillas are known to only thrive in the wild and this is why you can only visit these in their natural habitat and the four mountain gorilla homes are the Mgahinga gorilla national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park, Virunga national park and the Volcanoes national park.

The mountain gorillas only thrive in the wild and can even live up to 40 years plus in the wild while in captivity, their health will start to detoriate and eventually the gorillas will die shortly. The gorillas found in the zoos are mainly the lowland gorillas.

  • These are an endangered species

The mountain gorillas are the fewest in number as compared to the other gorilla species and were last estimated at a population of about 1,063 mountain gorillas left in the world. The last statistics put the western lowland gorillas at 200,000 individuals left while the lowland gorillas are estimated at about 7,000 gorillas left in the world.

Facts about Mountain Gorillas
Mountain gorilla trekking

The numbers of the mountain gorillas over the 21st century have been boosted by the numerous conservation efforts of the stakeholders and the park authorities who have tirelessly protected the remaining population thus the increase in numbers, Facts about Mountain Gorillas..

The biggest threat to the mountain gorillas is actually the humans who kill them for selfish interests such as hunting them for meat, killing them in conflicts or clearing their land for farming or settlement purposes.

  • Mountain gorillas are very intelligent.

The mountain gorillas are very intelligent creatures and have been seen on several occasions reacting to situations just like humans would. The mountain gorillas share up to 98% of their DNA with humans and this confirms their relation. The mountain gorillas are even referred to as our relatives. The gorillas have been seen using tools for hunting, making fires, measuring depth of the rivers.

The adult silverback gorilla leads the family and you may be able to identify on your visit to the mountain gorillas how he manages his family and also protects them. The mountain gorillas just like the humans have a unique identifier, how the finger print is ours, every mountain gorilla has a unique nose print.

The mountain gorillas communicate among themselves and have over 15 different calls to signal a number of things such as when they are alarmed, curious, to chase away threats or to even signal when the female is ready to mate.

  • Silverbacks are the leaders

As the mountain gorillas age, the male mountain gorilla tends to grey around the lower back and this is when the new leader is identified. Once the gorilla starts to grey and believes he can lead the group, he will have to fight the current dominant male or if they are weak and lose, they will have to leave the group, Facts about Mountain Gorillas.

There are some groups that have more than one silverback and these silverbacks can live in harmony as long there is no suspicion of over throwing the current leader. The dominant silverback gorilla will protect his family members until he loses his life. The dominant gorilla also leads the group on where they will spend the night or the day. A silverback gorilla is said to be ten times stronger than an adult male so you do not want to be on their wrong side coming off as a threat.

  • Omnivores

Ever wondered what these gigantic animals feed on? The mountain gorillas are omnivores and do not eat meat. Their daily meal is mostly leaves, tree stems, roots, tree barks, wild fruits and maybe small insects. An adult male silverback can eat up to 18 kilograms of vegetation per day so as to support his body weight and also with the cold weather conditions, they will need to generate heat in their bodies thus the large food consumption.

The high consumption of leaves that have tannin, the same compound for making coffee and tea is the reason the gorillas have stained teeth as you will see on your visit. They can spend the whole day feeding and their natural habitat favors their feeding habitats.

  • Live in families

The Mountain gorillas are quite social within their family setting but note that they will not be welcoming to an outside gorilla unlike the lowland gorillas that are more social able out of their family setting. They live in families of 8 up to 40 members but led by one dominant male silverback.

They relate just like humans with the adults taking care of the young ones, the females teaching and playing with the young ones and one a female gorilla reaches of age, she will leave that group to look for a partner in another group. This is to avoid inbreeding or incest births.

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