FACTS ABOUT GORILLAS
Facts About Mountain Gorillas – Top fascinating facts about the mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo that you need to know.
There are a bit more than 1000 gorillas in the whole world. In Africa, mountain gorillas are found in three east African countries. That is in Uganda, mountain gorillas can be seen in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park situated in southwestern Uganda, in Rwanda, gorillas are found in volcanoes national park in north-western Rwanda, in the DR.Congo, gorillas can be seen in the Virunga national park situated in the eastern region of DR.Congo. Visitors taking part in gorilla trekking can visit any of the three east African countries.
What Are Mountain Gorillas
Mountain gorilla is a critically endangered species and it’s the largest primate species living on the face of the earth. In size, the gorillas weigh up to 135-220kg and in height, the gorilla measures up to 4-6 feet tall. They live in the mountainous areas of Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo at altitude 8,000 to 13,000 feet.
About Mountain Gorillas
All you need to know about the Mountain Gorillas. Mountain gorillas are the largest known species in the family unit of primates. Mountain Gorillas are ground-based apes, mostly herbivorous, inhabiting the Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo forests. There are two species of gorillas and four or five subspecies. The gorilla’s DNA is highly similar to that of a human and its 95-99% based on what is counted, and they are the next closest to humans after the chimpanzees which are closet living relatives to humans. Gorillas live in the sub-tropical forests of Africa, the gorillas roam about the Albertine rift mountain forest of the Virunga volcanoes and the dense tropical rain forest of Bwindi impenetrable forest with altitude ranging from 2,200-4.300 meters (7,200-14,100 ft).
There are few among the animals that have sparked man’s imagination as much as the gorilla, the largest living primates, and the last science-known member of the ape family. Many gorillas live in remote areas in various dense tropical African forests, and researchers have only discovered knowledge of their environment in the last 30 years. A sequence of 8 volcanoes known as the Virunga volcanoes situated along the rift valley in the border between Uganda, Rwanda, and the democratic republic of Congo. The Virunga conservation is located closer to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda a home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas.
Approximately all gorillas have the same type of blood and have unique fingerprints similar to human beings. Their color of the eye is dark brown, framed around the iris by a black ring. The gorilla silverback is huge, with a thin, dense neck and a large chest and shoulders. The big head and hairless, shiny black muzzle outweigh the gorilla eyes and ears. Older males have a body crown. The skin and muscle that render the head look bigger. Like all great apes, gorillas have arms wider than their legs and at certain occasions tend to walk on all four limbs – a motion called knuckle-walking.
All you need to know about mountain gorillas, Gorillas run around by knuckle-walking, although sometimes they stride bipedally for short distances when carrying food or in situations of self-protection. Adult males (silverbacks) are 1.65–1.75 meters in height (5 ft 5 in–5 ft 9 in) and 140–200 kg in weight (310–440 lb). Adult females are often half the size of a silverback with an average height of about 1.4 meters (4 ft 7 in) and 100 kg (220 lb). Silverbacks of more than 1,8 meters and 230 kg have been recorded in the wild from time to time. gorillas have reached a weight of 270 kg. Gorilla Mountain is the darkest of all gorilla groups. Mountain gorillas have the thickest hair, too. The Western Lowland Gorilla can be brown or white with a reddish forehead. There are gorillas living in lowland forests and are slenderer than the mountain gorillas which are larger above the average size of the low land gorilla.
Mountain Gorilla Behavior
Mountain gorillas are diurnal with a break around launch time, most effective between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm. Much of the time is spent eating, the large amounts of food consumed are required to support their large bodies and to keep them physically fit at all times. The gorillas feed early in the morning, rest late in the morning, and at midday and also in the afternoon they snack until they sleep at night. Mountain gorillas are shy but strong and, in most times, they do not look for danger but, if threatened it can turn them aggressive, to show anger, they beat their chests and roar. The silverback is normally the head of the family and it will in his powers try to defend and protect its family from any form of danger, the family can make up to 30 members and ruled by one male silverback as the head of the family with few females and the young ones.
Gorillas have stronger attachments to their family members, and even when the family meets and associates, each member tends to stay with their particular unit. A mature male gorilla is named a silverback which its name originates from the silver-grey hair on its back; he is the head of the family, it leads the group, offering protection and support to the family in case of any trouble.
Mountain gorillas Mountain travel ten to fifteen square miles across their home ranges, eating and sleeping in the day. Since gorillas roam, they create fresh nests on the ground every day at sunset using bent branches in a tree or grasses and are constructed by an individual. The young ones sleep with the parent(mother), but after three years of age, they build their nests, initially similar to their mother’s. Gorilla nests are built disproportionately and there tends to be opportunistic use of tree species for site-building. The building of nests by great apes is now known not only as animal design but as an important example of the use of devices.
Where Do Mountain Gorillas Live?
Mountain gorillas exist in East and Central Africa’s tropical forests. Gorillas live in south-western Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Gorillas live in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, while they live in the Virunga National Park reserves in Congo. For gorilla trekking in any of the East African countries, contact adventure in the wild safaris and we will be glad to organize for you a memorable safari experience of your lifetime.
Mountain Gorillas’ Habitats
Mountain Gorillas mainly inhabit tropical forests. Tropical forests are defined as low temperature (around 23 ° C) and daylight duration (around 12 hours). On the other hand, precipitation in the tropics varies significantly and is a major factor in the form of vegetation developing in a region. Habitat loss is the most serious threat to gorillas. The fertile soil of the volcano it’s as highly valued as agricultural land. In Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo, a national management policy that emphasizes the importance of protecting virgin forest watersheds and the need to allow some classes of mountain gorillas more used to visitor visits has helped to reduce encroachment into the forest. Gorillas rely on the moist vegetation produced by the high clumsiness and rainfall of the tropical forest.
Mountain Gorillas are building nests for daytime and night-time use. Day nests appear to be plain aggregations of branches and leaves on the surface, whereas night nests in trees are more complex structures. The nests can have a size of 2 to 5 feet (0.61 to 1.5 m) and are built by individuals. The young gorillas sleep with the mother but after three years of age builds dens, originally similar to that of the baby. Day nests appear to be simple aggregations of branches and leaves on the ground, whereas night nests are more complex tree structures. Nests for day and night use are built by Mountain Gorillas. Day nests appear to be plain aggregations of branches and leaves on the surface, whereas night nests in trees are more complex structures. The nests can have a size of 2 to 5 feet (0.61 to 1.5 m) and are built by individuals. The young sleep with the mother but after three years of age builds dens, originally similar to that of the baby, and built closer to the mother. Gorilla nests are built selectively and there seems to be opportunistic use of tree species for site-building. Nest construction by great apes is now known not only as animal sculpture but as an important example of the use of devices.
Mountain Gorilla Diet and Eating Habits
Gorillas are herbivores, consuming seeds, stems, roots, berries, and vines. Although they eat a variety of plants, the favorites include wild celery, bamboo, thistles, and stinging nettles, bed-straw, and some fruit. Such plants seem to provide ample humidity to keep them from requiring irrigation. An adult male gorilla can eat more than 18 kg (40 lb) of vegetation a day. Gorillas barely drink in the wild as they ingest succulent foliage comprising of nearly half of the water and daily dew. Their meat collection methods are;
A nutritional zone is not over-exploited by gorillas, they maintain the plants in a way that allows quick replenishment to take place.
Gorillas can use their tremendous power to break down vegetation. For example, an adult male can cut a whole banana tree apart to reach the inner tender pith.
Gorillas are known to absorb water using the hair on the back of their hands and then suck it.
There are very small foragers for gorillas. Generally, they just consume vegetable bits. For starters, they can consume only a specific plant’s leaves, pith, stem, or roots. They use their flexible lips and hand agility to exploit the plants for the portion we want to consume.
The Gorilla Reproduction and Parenting
Fantastic, such primates have a sluggish rate of reproduction; the females develop for the first time at about 10 years of age and will get young ones every 3 to 4 years. The male starts to breed between 12 and 15 years of age when he is in charge of his parents. A female can conceive for only 3 days each month, carrying one child at a time, even though it also gives birth to twins. The newly born gorillas, weighing about four pounds, are weak and small in size. They can sit upright at three or four months, and even stand with support. Babies have been sucking for a year and gradually weaning when they can live alone for 3 and a half years. Females become sexually mature at age 7 to 8, but after many years they do not begin to breed and have a long gestation period of 8 and a half to 9 m. The mortality rate of gorillas is less than a year, but only 5% for adults. The gorillas can live and survive in the wilderness for 40 to 50 years in the natural environment.
Mountain Gorilla Distribution
The Beringei (Gorilla beringei beringei) is one of the eastern gorilla’s two subspecies. There are two settlements. One is located in Central Africa’s Virunga volcanic peaks, in three national parks: Mgahinga, in south-western Uganda; Volcanoes National Park, in north-western Rwanda; and Virunga, in eastern democratic republic of Congo. The other remaining number of gorillas is located in Uganda’s National Park of the Bwindi Impenetrable national park known to be home to Mountain gorillas. The estimated total number of mountain gorillas showed that Bwindi alone harbor half of the remaining total population of these endangered species and the rest are distributed in other national parks that is volcanoes in Rwanda, Virunga national park in Congo and Mgahinga national park in Uganda.
Mountain Gorilla Endangerments
Leopards and humans are the only recognized rivals of the gorilla. Crocodiles may be harmful to gorillas in the lowlands. Gorillas are commonly hunted in western Africa for meat or in revenge for crop looting, but they have been victims of traps set for antelopes and other animals in eastern Africa. Poachers also destroy the whole family in their attempts to capture gorillas for zoos, while others are killed to collect heads and hands for sale as trophies.
Mountain gorillas are affected by habitat loss due to increased human populations, bushmeat trade smuggling, and diseases such as Ebola. Species residing in higher elevations, such as mountain gorillas, are also affected by climate change, which can have a direct impact on gorillas by altering their environment and potentially impacting crop yields in nearby communities.
All the Facts You Need to Know About Mountain Gorillas
- Mountain gorillas share a total DNA of 98% with the humans making them one the next closest relatives to humans after the chimpanzee that is closest to humans.
- Gorillas, like us, have distinctive fingerprints!
- Gorillas attack human beings rarely. But a person should remain silent in an encounter and refrain from looking at or pointing to the gorilla.
- Gorillas are vulnerable to several pests and diseases, mostly during hot, cold wet seasons.
- The male gorilla weighs up to 350 pounds and females weigh about 215pounds
- The life span of a gorilla, the gorilla lives up to 40-50 years
- The gorillas live in the thick woodland, rainforest
- Feeding habits of gorillas, the gorillas are herbivorous (vegetarian)
- Predators: mostly human. Leopards sometimes
- The gestation period of a gorilla is about 8 1/2 months
- The mountain gorillas are led by a male gorilla known as a silverback who is in charge an protects the family and the young ones.
- The silverback is responsible for all family activities and children’s fathering
- The hair grows in a greyish tint on the back of the head as they mature.
- Mountain gorillas belong to a group of 30 individuals comprising of mothers and children.
- Mountain gorillas live in the tropical forest of Bwindi impenetrable forest, Mgahinga national park in Uganda, volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in DR. Congo.
- Gorillas are prone to a variety of diseases, mainly to pneumonia during the long, wet rainy seasons of the year.
- Gorillas rarely attack humans. But in an encounter, a person should stay still and refrain from staring or pointing at the gorilla.
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Engagi Safaris is one of the most trusted safari companies offering safaris to different parts of East Africa including Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Kenya, and Tanzania. We have been conducting safaris for more than 11 years with passion. Contact us and we will assign you one of our safari designers who will assist you in organizing your safari to Bwindi impenetrable National Park to see mountain gorillas. Engagi safaris is highly recommended on TripAdvisor.