Mountain gorillas are a few most fascinating wild creatures on earth. They remain not more than 1004 and only exist in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park in southwestern Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Mountain gorillas are the largest primate species on earth and an hour with them is what is best described as a magical encounter.
Mountain gorillas thrive in a group or families of about 10 to 30 less or more. Each gorilla family is headed by a mature male gorilla which is also called silverback and a group consists of females, black backs, juveniles and many more.
Female mountain gorillas give birth at 10 years and breeding starts between 12 and 15. They can conceive within 2 to 3 days and can give birth after each 4 to 5 years. Usually, they give birth to single baby gorilla and on rare occasions, they give birth to twins.
They have short trunks that are thick with broad chests and shoulders, the eyes and ears are dwarfed by a large muscle and head. While on trek to see these creatures, you will be amazed by their massive bodies as they blend their black colors with the greener environment.
They communicate through different forms including screaming and stand on their hind legs, grab foliage, fetch ants in holes using stems, stamp their feet while beat their chests, gallop in a mock attack in all fours, strike the ground with their palms then stuff food in the mouth.
The newly born gorilla is like human baby but can weigh approximately 4 pounds. They come in small size and weak, they suckle for 1 year and weaned at 3 to 4 years when they can live independently. Babies cling to their mother backs. The gestation period is about 8.5 months just like humans.
Their major predators include mainly leopards and man. However, they are poached for their meat; they are sold as pets especially babies and others. Most of these creatures get trapped in set wire snares that are mainly targeted to trap small species especially antelopes.
They consume much food mainly depending on plant species such as bamboo shoots, stems, fruits as well as some insects.
They are gentle, humble and powerful-six times compared to humans, intelligent and peaceful but can get irritated or in case they sense danger. They come in thick, dark and long hair on their skins which help them to stay warm in high cold elevation. Their hair helps regulate body temperatures the fact that they live at elevation of about 2200 to 4500 meters.
The other unique trait of mountain gorillas is the nose prints; they are very susceptible to human infectious diseases the fact that they share about 98 percent of their DNA with humans. These creatures are susceptible to diseases such as Ebola, cold, pneumonia a mention but a few.
The male mountain gorillas are heavier than females with bony crests on top and back of their skulls. Males weigh about 155 kilograms with a height of 1.73 cm. They feature about 32 teeth like humans that help them break down the vegetation.
Their lifespan ranges up to 30 to 40 years in the wild, depending mainly on vegetation, fruits, leaves and others. But due to continued threats these creatures are still at a high risk of extinction. They are still threatened by poaching, habitat loss due to human encroachment on their habitat, spread of human infectious diseases and other factors.