Facts about Mountain Gorillas
Facts about Mountain Gorillas are those unique attributes that are attached to these primate species that are so fascinating and amazing to observe. Mountain gorillas are critically endangered animals as they listed among endangered animals on the IUCN Red List of threatened species with a few individuals left only in specific areas of the world. Mountain gorillas scientifically know as Gorilla beringei beringei are fur covered huge animals with closest relations to humans and chimpanzees to an extent of sharing 98% DNA with human beings. Mountains gorillas live on the high altitudes of mountains in thick forest vegetation, they are terrestrial, quadrupedal and are one of the two species of Eastern Gorillas. These fur-covered apes are more active during day time between 6 am- 6 pm spending most of their time feeding, building nets and socializing.
Mountain gorillas are herbivores animals who spend most of their time feeding on leaves, shoots, stems, bark, flowers, and fruits. For males, they eat around 34 kilograms of vegetation and female eat 18 kilograms of vegetation a day. Mountain gorillas with only estimated 1004 individuals left in two population in the world are slightly smaller than eastern lowland gorillas weighing 195 kilograms for makes with a height of 168 cm and females weighing 100 kilograms with a height of 140 cm, they have special features that are crested on very top and back of their skulls which are more pronounced in males than it is in female and black rings around the iris of their dark brown eyes.
Mountain gorillas are social animals living in non- territorial groups which are headed by alpha old male gorillas called silverbacks tasked to be leaders who are always ready to defend the group, in gorilla families. There are also adult females, sub-adults, infants and juveniles. Male mountain gorillas usually slowly leave their group at about the age of 11 years old and female leave at about the age of 8 years either joining an already established group or a new one with a male. Adult female mountain gorillas are tasked with taking care of the infants until they are mature enough to be on their own
Mountain gorillas are only left in two populations in the world one population in Uganda and another in the Virunga conservation area. Uganda is home to approximately 430 individuals in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park located in south western Uganda in Kanungu district. The rest of the gorilla population is found in the Virunga conservation area which is made up of three national parks that is Mgahinga Gorilla National Park found in Uganda, Volcanoes national park of Rwanda and Virunga national park of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park gorillas live in 4 sectors those are:
- Buhoma sector the first habituated family in Uganda with 5 gorilla families that is Mubare group of 12 members, the Rushegura group with 21 members, the Habinyanja family with 17 members and newly habituated Christmas and Katwe groups.
- Ruhija sector with 3 gorilla groups that is Kyaguriro family with 20 members, Oruzogo family with 16 members and Bitukura family with 13 members
- Rushaga sector with 3 gorilla families that is Nshongi family with 36 members, Mishaya group with 7 members and Busingye group with 9 members.
- Nkuringo sector with 3 gorilla families that is Nkuringo family with 17 members, Bikingi with family and Bushaho family with 8 members.
- Mgahinga gorilla national park has only one gorilla family Nyakagezi which is made up of 9 members.
Rwanda’s volcanoes national park has 11 gorilla family including
- Titus Family with,
- Bwenge Family with 11 members,
- Ugenda family with 11 members,
- Karisimbi family with 16 members,
- Hirwa family with 16 members,
- Kwitonda family with 23 members,
- Umubano family with 13 members,
- Agashya Family with 13 members,
- Amahoro family with 18 members,
- Sabyinyo Family with 13 members
- Susa family with 33 members.
Virunga national park of Democratic Republic of Congo consists of 8 gorilla families, those are:
- Humba with 9 members,
- Nyakamwe with 11 individuals,
- Bageni with 26 members,
- Kabirizi with 13 members,
- Lulego with 12 members,
- Mapuwa with 22 members,
- Munyaga with 9 members
- Rugendo members with 9 members.
Facts about Mountain Gorillas
Mountain Gorillas are attractive animals that bring a large number of tourists in the countries of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo because of their attractive features and amazing facts. These facts about Mountain Gorillas include:
- Mountain gorillas are social animals and they live in families that are headed by a dominant alpha silverback which is tasked with protecting the group from attacks which may be caused by hunters and other predators like lions and leopards.
- Mountain gorillas are nomadic animals. Mountain gorillas do not stay in one place for a long period time, they always migrate to adjacent areas using corridors connecting to the parks on their search for food. Their movement in search of food and new location to stay in is determined by the sliver back.
- Mountain gorillas are herbivores animals. Mountain gorillas are vegan animals with their diet consisting of vegetation. They feed on roots, stems, barks, flowers, leaves but sometimes also feed on insects, mountain gorillas only get to feed vegetation when they become the age of 3 years before that age they only feed on breast milk they get from their mothers.
- Mountain gorillas are critically endangered species. Mountain gorillas are one of the most endangered animals in the world, they are highly demanded on black in Thailand which makes young mountain gorillas a target for smugglers and kidnappers. Also, they are killed for their meat. A large number of mountain gorillas perished due to poaching and kidnapping which was largely practiced by locals living around forests hosting them but with the gazetting of national parks their population is steadily increasing.
- Mountain gorillas are shy emotional creatures. Mountain gorillas are shy animals full of emotions, they feel happy, smile, tender and get happy just like humans. And like humans, they also get harsh giving rude reactions which may cause harm to humans that is why it is advisable to be careful while in their vicinity not irritate them. Mountain gorillas giving out reactions which are manifest their irritation, these include quickening their hooting, symbolic feeding, rising bipedally, throwing vegetation, chest-beating with cupped hands, one leg kick, sideways running four-legged, slapping and tearing vegetation and thumping the ground with palms
- Mountain gorillas are huge heavy creatures. Mountain gorillas are tall, huge and heavy creatures which makes them so unique and attractive. According to records the tallest silver back to ever live was in shot in May 1938 in Alimbongo north of kivu and weighted 219 kilograms and height of 1.95 meters with arms of 2.7 meters, chest of 1.98 meters. The heaviest silverback ever recorded was shot in Ambam Cameroon weighing 267 kilograms.
- Mountain gorillas are fur-covered animals. Mountain gorilla are fur covered animals that help them live in the coldness of the mountains, fur all over mountain gorilla bodies make them more attractive. The fur on silverbacks differ from the rest of other mountain gorillas as they have shorter fur on their backs, one their arms the fur is longer and with age, the fur color becomes slightly grey.
- Mountain gorillas’ life span is about 5 years
- Like humans, adult Female Mountain gorillas’ gestation period is 8-9 months and give birth after 4-5 years.
- Mountain gorillas build nets every day in the evening hours
- Mountain gorillas are highly intelligent creatures which are witnessed by the fact they know sign languages most especially the habituated gorillas
- Unlike most primates and like humans mountain gorillas do not have tails
The Mountain gorilla is one of the most thrilling activity never to miss on your what to do while on safari in the magical continent of Africa a paradise of numerous wildlife adventures.one can only get a chance of encountering mountain gorillas by participating in gorilla trekking and a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs US$ 700 to trek in Bwindi impenetrable national park and mgahinga national park. To trek in Rwanda’s volcanoes national park, a gorilla trekking permit costs $ 1500 and trekking in the Democratic Republic in Congo’s Virunga national park a permit costs 400.