Mountain gorillas were discovered in the early 19th century in their natural habitats and these mans closest relatives share about 98% DNA with humans. Gorillas are gentle and calm animals despite the fact that they will likely charge if attacked or disturbed.
The endangered mountain gorillas are one of the most recognized animals in the world and highly endangered. Mountain gorillas can only be found in three countries in the world and that is Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.
The conservation efforts of mountain gorillas has led to an increase in the number of mountain gorillas left though they were almost becoming extinct in the 19th century. In the year 2010 showed about only 400 mountain gorillas living in the Virunga massif ranges.
The new survey shows the rise of mountain gorillas from about 400 to almost 604 mountain gorillas living in the Virunga massif. The other half of the remaining mountain gorillas can be found in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda bringing the number to 1000 plus.
During the survey, about 400 snares were discovered and some containing dead mountain gorillas, poaching is still a threat to the number of mountain gorillas. Poachers kill mountain gorillas for pet trade, for private animal centers, monetary terms, for meat and others like traditional healers believe that some parts of gorillas are magical.
The other threat leading to the decrease of mountain gorillas is the transmission of diseases, mountain gorillas are vulnerable to human diseases this mostly happens during trekking or gorillas can transmit in any other ways of getting close to infected humans.
The rise in the mountain gorilla numbers as been a result of veterinary care, deployment of more park guards some of them lost their lives in the process of protecting this endangered mountain gorillas, regulated tourism and community support projects.
One of the most significant icons in the conservation of gorillas was an American primatologist who was known as Dian Fossey, she dedicated her life to the conservation and study of the endangered mountain gorillas which also led to her death in 1985. Dian Fossey also established an institute that still continues to protect and study mountain gorillas to date.
Another reason for the dramatic increase of mountain gorilla numbers is habitat loss, humans tend to get into gorilla habitats for settlement, farming, cutting down of trees for firewood and other purposes hence causing mountain gorillas to move to higher elevations where conditions are harsh.
The remaining mountain gorillas in the world are over 1000 only and some groups have been habituated for tourists to trek in Virunga national park in Congo, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
Gorilla permits cost $1500 in Rwanda, $400 in Congo and only $600 in Uganda.