Facts about Mountain Gorillas in Africa

Facts about Mountain Gorillas in Africa

Facts about Mountain Gorillas in Africa : Gorillas are the largest apes that live in forests, swamps and lowland areas of East, Central and western parts of Africa. Gorillas are categorized in two species including the Eastern gorillas and the western gorillas. The Western gorillas are divided into the Western lowland gorillas and Cross River gorillas while the Eastern gorillas are divided into the Mountain gorillas and the Eastern lowland gorillas. The eastern gorillas are divided into two sub-species namely; the mountain gorilla and Eastern lowland gorillas found only in Virunga mountains and Kahuzi Biega National Park respectfully. Western lowland gorillas are more common seen in zoos and fairly distributed in regions of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Angola, Central African Republic and Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The mountain gorillas only live in East and central Africa in countries of Uganda, Rwanda in East Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa and can therefore only be visited in the parks that straddle the three countries, namely the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Although there are other subspecies of gorillas in Africa that inhabit across other countries of Africa in Central, East and Western Africa, mountain gorillas are the most fascinating and interesting subspecies because they are the most endangered species of gorillas in the whole world.

Facts about Mountain Gorillas in Africa
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Mountain gorilla are hidden deep in the misty mountains of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Given the productive conservation practices of the 3 countries, there is increasing numbers of mountain gorillas every year however, Bwindi impenetrable national park in Uganda has the highest number of gorillas compared to Rwanda and Congo. Rwanda however, is a luxury destination for gorilla trekking in Africa. Mountain Gorillas are the world’s most endangered ape, threatened by humans and habitat loss and there fore there are many Facts about Mountain Gorillas in Africa. They are the only primate species on Earth with increasing numbers and Rwanda has built a thriving industry around the gorilla encounters. Below are some of the common features of mountain gorilla species

  • Mountain gorillas can bark, roar or scream when the need arises.
  • Mountain gorillas never attack or become aggressive without provocation. The males may fight over females once in a while but only occasionally.
  • Mountain gorillas communicate using a variety of sounds or body language.
  • They spend their day grooming, climbing, swinging on tree tops and playfully chasing each other. Their diet consists of leaves, stems, fruit and shrubs.
  • Mountain gorilla groups generally contain more individuals from 20 to 30 individuals or more.
  • Mountain gorilla are led by a dominant silverback. The other males in the group can choose to live as bachelor in the group before hopefully taking over from the dominant silverback or leave to find mates. Females usually move on to join a lone male or another group of their preference once they reach age. Females are known for changing groups throughout their life. Because of their considerable size and weight, gorillas live mostly on the ground. Both species build nests on the ground to rest in the middle and end of each day using leaves, shrubs and tree branches. Juveniles and females may build their nests on top of trees.

These are very fascinating creatures and have various unique features that make them stand out and below are a few of those listed.

  • Just like humans have finger prints, gorillas have nose prints that are unique for each one of them. They are used for identification as it puts them apart.
  • Gorillas share DNA with humans.
  • Mountain gorillas differ from lowland gorillas in a way that they have longer hair and shorter arms than the lowland gorillas and tend to be larger.
  • Gorilla hands and feet are a replica of those of humans. They almost look exact inclusive of the thumbs and big toes.
  • Gorillas are very intelligent animals that can be habituated to communicate with humans and interpret simple sign language. Please remember they stay wild animals so their reactions are still unpredictable even in habituation.
  • Gorillas, both Mountain and Lowland gorillas live only in Central Africa that is in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo only in the whole world. Amazing right?
Facts about Mountain Gorillas in Africa
Eastern Lowland Gorilla Trekking
  • Gorillas are omnivores. They only eat plant roots, tree barks, shoots, fruits, vines and maybe small insects.
  • These are the largest primates compared to the other primates like the chimpanzees where the male gorilla is twice the size of the female.
  • Gorillas leave in small groups of less than 30 with one dominant male that’s the silverback who is responsible for the safety of the entire group and is also their leader until a stronger male overthrows it.
  • Gorillas are wild animals but are very calm and passive animals unless agitated then they might attack back. Gorillas are very strong that it would need about 6 strong well built men to wrestle one down.
  • The male gorilla weighs about 400 pounds while the female weighs about 200 pounds.
  • Another interesting fact is these animals make a new nest every night where they sleep.
  • Their life span is estimated to be around 35 years.
  • Their gestation period is 8.5 months and gives birth to one offspring.
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