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Mountain Gorilla facts in Uganda and Rwanda.

Mountain Gorillas staying and found in Uganda and Rwanda are the largest of primates in the world, they are the giant of Gorillas, these critically endangered gentle giants only reside in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Heart of Africa) and the Virunga Volcanoes but never to be sighted in the zoo. These creatures (mountain Gorillas) don’t carry on/subsist in detention/captivity.

Statistically the outstanding number of Gorillas today is 800 plus in total of which over half of this total (800) reside in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & Mgahinga Gorilla National Park all in Uganda-East Africa. These critically endangered species (gorillas) are gradually accumulating in totals due to the fact that they are rapidly being funded by bodies/organizations like Conservation Efforts, Gorilla Tourism, Community Education & Fee Sharing.

History states it that Mountain Gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda were never identified/recognized by Westerners not until in the year of 1902.Now to both these countries, saying the word Gorilla would definitely imply a description extending from King Kong to some Tarzan movies. On record it’s said by the time Captain von Berenge and some friends were climbing Mount Sabyinyo (Rwanda was under the German Rule)), so reaching the foot level of 9300, they camped there and there they spotted a group of these critically endangered species (mountain Gorillas), where he shot at 2 of these creatures but only was able to only recover one of the Gorillas. And in this case it was a young male in a scope of about 5 years, weighing 220 pounds, not too large, larger than any apes though. Its bones and skin were directed to Berlin where it was recognized as a Gorilla.

Never had it crossed people’s minds that these creatures could occur/survive in such raises /elevations & frostier climate. In 1920-1921, it is believed and said that Prince Wilhelm from Sweden on his excursion to the destination shot a total of 14 mountain Gorillas. And with this news of these gentle giants (gorillas), it dragged hunters to Congo mainly where they shot/ seized them.

So with all that in existence, the Belgians founded and created a protection programme for Mountain Gorillas and one was also founded in Uganda by the English. Can you imagine that for a long time in Uganda, no one was even certified and permitted to take tourists to spot these Mountain Gorillas. Walter Baumgartel among the few was granted permission to only set up tours/trips for tourists to his ‘Travellers Rest Hotel’ in Kisoro, even at present you can still stay at this hotel in Uganda here.  Baumgartel wrote the Book “Up among the Mountain Gorillas” is one book written by Walter Baumgartel displaying details of his time in Uganda and what he experienced when with the giant apes of southern Uganda. This exquisite book portrays much about a man, an Inn, the gorgeous countryside of Uganda and mainly about the incredible Mountain Gorillas. Likes of Dian Fossey, George Schaller to mention but a few used to stay in the Gorillas ‘area codes on a regular basis.

Mountain Gorillas fall under the category of Gorilla Beringei Beringei as a subspecies and only can reside in the wilderness of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda in the Virunga areas and Virunga National Park of Democratic Republic of Congo. So most Gorillas that you could have come across in a zoo are mainly from the lowlands of Africa in the west. National Parks in both Uganda & Rwanda are easily and safely accessible, within 48 kilometers of each other. In the Democratic Republic of Congo there are uncertainties in terms of security at times and several Countries have Travel Advisories while travel protection/insurance becomes invalid/cancelled if you go there.

There is a sum of 880 mountain gorillas outstanding number in the world.  Uganda has gotten over half of them sheltered and contained in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and others do reside in/at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

The gradual increment in the totals of these creatures (Gorillas) is due to the protection offered to them (mountain Gorillas) from the Ugandan government which included the communities surrounding the parks & rewards them a portion of the $600 –fee charged from Foreign visitors who are getting engaged in Gorilla tracking (trekking) to both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park, while in Rwanda, it costs $1,500.

Mountain Gorilla Description

Mountain Gorillas (males) are called ‘Silverbacks’, characterized and featured with facts like their size is normally twice the females ‘size, can appear 6 feet tall, have a weight of 350-500 pounds. They tend to be muscular, strong, with long arms and are 10 times stronger than the hard hitting boxer-that’s why they are titled as ‘Silver backs’. In simple terms they are named Silver backs because as they tend to age and mature their hairs on the backs prove to get a silver touch.

The life span of these Mountain Gorillas is 40-50 years of age and have gotten longer and darker hair than their lowland cousins because they reside in frostier climates and at much higher altitudes.  These critically endangered species are mainly worldly/telluric but will ascend into trees rarely if the tree will give them support, while the young ones will play & entertain others in the trees like children. The reality of it all is that Gorillas and we Humans are 98% inherently matching/identical.

Mountain Gorilla Habitat and Diet. 

Mountain Gorillas in Uganda do reside in 2 dwellings/places. That is in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (part of the Virunga chain of Volcanoes that extends into DR Congo & Rwanda).

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park does shelters the vast/huge totals of Mountain Gorilla Populace. This forest (Bwindi Impenetrable) is referred to as the ‘Place of Darkness’ reason being that it being an instinctive forest and having Canopic trees makes it be dark within. This forest’s altitude ranges between 1,160 m-2,607 m above sea-level.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is characterized with a raised altitude range, some Afro-montane vegetation which makes these gentle giants to gamble and take part in some of these pleasures. Mountain Gorillas do feed on/ eat huge measures of leaves, bamboo shoots in the season, Fruits, roots, flowers and most times adults can eat up to about 75 pounds a day.

Bear in mind that both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park have gotten each different features and resemblances. But still then Bwindi Impenetrable forest is not a defunct or inactive volcanic area while Mgahinga Gorilla Park is.

Mountain Gorillas do transfer a minute distance to various locales to stay an overnight, forming nests from branches/twigs & leaves. Humans have found them fairly comfortable enough to fall asleep in. Practically mountain Gorillas day starts from 6:00 am – 6:00 pm and a nap inclusive at around lunchtime.

Mountain Gorilla Behaviors/Manners

According to Dian Fossey was not convinced about the deed of touring these mountain gorillas as it is being done at present in Uganda and, but then it is that money that has protected them from elimination and destruction since they are accumulating in number in current years.

Now when these gentle giants (mountain gorillas) feel vulnerable/susceptible they will tend to attack so as to protect their own.  And in most cases when several Mountain Gorilla groups come across/encounter, a fight can’t miss there between the Silverbacks, proving each other unto death or even resulting into injuries.

Mountain gorillas reside and survive in groups of which they can differ in size, from 2- 30- 40, but more often in groups of about 10. They have gotten no specific season for mating/breeding but babies are born year in, year out. At an age of 15 years the males begin to breed and the females give birth from ages of 10-12 years old. Then the Females will try to give 4-6 progeny/children during their lifespan by giving birth every 2-3 years.

The males usually leave their group once at the age of about 11 years of age and yet the females leave their group at a little over half. Their way of communication is by making sounds like as grunts, shouts, roars and scholars/researchers have proved and noticed 25 sounds.

Mountain Gorilla Slayers/Predators

Humans are looked at as the utmost danger/threat to Mountain Gorillas who may set a trap for Antelopes, but a Mountain Gorilla instead gets entwined in it. The encroachment made by humans into the park, trying to fix/put in place farms, tea plantations, mining in protected areas set apart for preservation.

The existence of a slash and burn mentality which had made it difficult to view how large expanses of land should be left for these gentle giants(Gorillas), therefore through the educational procedures effort put in by both Rwanda – Uganda together with cash inducements to the societies through tourism that the mountain gorillas in Uganda are not exposed/in jeopardy by rustlers as they might be in the DR Congo.

These mountain Gorillas are also in danger because of the diseases that humans may carry to the park, most times these diseases are infectious and they transmit them to these creatures, that is why strict rules are implemented and advised to strictly follow them to avoid spreading of disease from humans to Mountain Gorillas.

Leopards are among the animals that reside in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park(Uganda), Volcanoes National Park(Rwanda) but yet they (Leopards) have the ability to kill an adult Gorilla.

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