FACTS ABOUT MOUNTAIN GORILLAS
the interesting facts about mountain gorillas that you never had of. Gorillas are the great apes among the different primate species with their DNA close to man after the chimpanzees and baboons
FACTS ABOUT MOUNTAIN GORILLAS
THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 1,063 ANIMALS IN THE WILD.
The world is home to two gorilla species: the eastern and western gorillas. Mountain gorillas are a subspecies of eastern gorillas. Mountain gorillas are critically endangered, with an estimated 1,063 remaining in the wild, according to the most recent census statistics (which come out every 5-10 years).
THEY LIVE IN TWO DISTINCT GROUPS.
Mountain gorillas live in only two isolated groups in east-central Africa: one in the Virunga Volcanoes (a region spanning three national parks in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)) and one in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, which connects to Sarambwe Nature Reserve in the DRC. They can be found in high altitude montane and bamboo forests bordered by agriculture and towns.
GORILLAS SHARE APPROXIMATELY 98% OF OUR DNA.
Because gorillas are genetically related to humans, exposure to human illnesses – even a cold – might have potentially negative consequences because they lack the required immunities.
THEY ARE ONE OF THE LARGEST AND POWERFUL LIVING PRIMATES
A silverback gorilla may weigh up to 180kg (almost 30 stone) and stand 170cm (about 5’5″) tall on all fours. Female mountain gorillas, on the other hand, weigh 90kg and stand up to 150cm (4’9″).
THEY CAN EAT THE WHOLE DAY
Mountain gorillas consume for around a quarter of the day, mostly vegetables. Gorillas eat around 85% of their food as leaves, shoots, and stems, but they may also eat larvae, snails, ants, and even roots, barks, and rotting wood (an excellent source of sodium/salt).
THEY GET COZY AT NIGHT
Mountain gorilla families sleep together at night in nests made of vegetation on the ground or in trees. Infants will share their mothers’ nests in order to be safe and warm.
THEY HAVE 16 DIFFERENT CALL TYPES.
Short barks are used when they are somewhat scared or intrigued. Male gorillas swagger with rigid legs, beat their chests, and make vocalizations like roars or hoots to frighten competitors.
THEY LIVE IN FAMILY GROUPINGS.
Mountain gorillas often live in family groups of roughly ten individuals, with one dominant male and many females. The group’s males and females both care for their young, cuddling, carrying, and playing with them. When they reach a certain age, the majority of males and around 60% of females leave their original group to join another tribe. This helps to avoid inbreeding.
GORILLAS IN THE WILD CAN LIVE FOR OVER 40 YEARS.
Gorillas are classified as newborns until they reach the age of three and a half years, and as adults after they reach the age of eight years. Males from 8 to 12 are referred to as ‘blackbacks.’ They grow a silver area of hair across their back and hips around the age of 12, garnering them the nickname “silverback.”
THEY ARE IN DANGER.
The primary threat to mountain gorillas is habitat destruction. As the region’s population expands, more land is turned to agriculture, and competition for scarce natural resources causes deforestation. People visit mountain gorilla forests to collect water and firewood because they have no other option, placing gorillas at danger of human contact and sickness. People may also set snares for bushmeat, which may inadvertently hurt the great apes. Gorillas do not confine themselves to their woods. They travel onto fields to devour crops such as maize and bananas, causing friction with humans who need to make a livelihood.