All About Mountain Gorillas of Africa
Fact you need to learn about Africa’s Mountain Gorillas
An encounter with the mountain gorillas is the best among all wild life encounters worldwide. Mountain gorillas are sub species of the eastern gorillas along with the eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park. There are approximately 900 mountain gorillas still existing in the whole world half of which reside in Uganda in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national parks. The other two countries are Rwanda in volcanoes national park and the Democratic republic of Congo in the Virungas national park. Mountain gorillas are different from other primates and their unique characters include among others:
They are mainly herbivorous feeding on vegetation. Mountain gorillas mainly eat fruits, leaves, wild celery, thistles, stinging nettles, bedstraw and bamboo shoots. However, though vegetarian, some times they can grab small insects, ants and larvae for delicacy.
Live in families or Gorilla Groups
Mountain gorillas live in different families with each gorilla belonging to a certain family is highly attached to that family. It is very interesting that even if the two or three families meet and mix, every gorilla goes back to her/his own family at the time of departure. A dominant silverback leads a family and the entire family consists of about 10-30 members. All year round, only 8 People are allowed to visit a single gorilla family.
Mountain gorilla look aggressive with males having crowned muscles and the silvery hair on their backs at their age of sexual maturity. They have long arm than legs, large head s with no hair, shiny black muzzle, thick trunk and broad chest.
They are mountainous
Just like their name, mountain gorillas live in hilly regions. The rare species hike up to the mountain peaks, which are mostly forested. The thick fur enables them to survive the coldness in the higher altitudes. Gorilla trekking in Africa therefore entails hiking the dense forest the experience that every traveler lives to remember.
Susceptible to human diseases
Mountain gorillas are so close to human beings sharing 98% of human genes which them so vulnerable to human diseases. The mostly spread are airborne like flue and cough easily spread from people to mountain gorilla. Because of this, travelers are advised to keep a distance of seven meters away from the gorillas and others like in virungas, travellers are given masks to put on their mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing.
Mountain gorillas are movable in that they cannot stay in one place for two nights. Every morning, each family led by a dominant silver back leaves the site they slept and move to new places. They make new nests in the evening where they sleep that vey night and will not return there the next night, this is reason why the ranges have to observe where the gorillas have slept so that they can be followed by the trekkers he next morning.
The reproduction in mountain gorillas is quite slow compared to other wild animals. The female mountain gorillas give their first birth at 10 years and the gestation period is 8.5 months after which one baby gorilla is born. It is not vey common mountain gorillas giving birth to twins. Anew born baby gorilla is very tiny weighing approximately 1.8kgs but keeps on growing to measure about 180kgs when it becomes mature.
In conclusion therefore, mountain gorillas are very interesting animals to interact with. Each member in the family plays a different role, which resemble a real human family.