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Mountain gorillas are a few most endangered species in the world and worldwide, about 1004 of them still exist in the rain forest of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They are inhabited in the jungles of Mgahinga National Park, the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in eastern DR Congo. There are several factors that have impacted on the survival of mountain gorillas while in their natural habitat.

Habitat loss

Most gorilla destinations are densely populated one of the factors that have caused pressure on these primates’ habitat due to need for land to do farming, settlement and other reasons. Because of this, the habitat where gorillas live has kept on decreasing which in a near future will make them homeless. Mountain gorillas are largely vegetarians and depend less on insects and because of human encroachment, they feature among a few endangered species today. Also, there is competition for limited resources with livestock from the adjacent local communities.

Spread of human infectious diseases

Mountain gorillas share about 98% of their DNA with humans and this makes them our closest relatives and also to be very susceptible to human infectious diseases. These creatures already suffer from their own diseases and in addition to human infections, including flu, cold, their lives become endangered due to continued exposure especially during trekking. The fact that these apes thrive in groups, it becomes hard for them to recover from a drastic decrease in number which is caused by spread of human infectious diseases. Before you embark on gorilla trek; make sure you are not sick!

Poaching

More than 50 mountain gorillas have been killed in the last two decades and currently, poaching still poses risk to the lives of these creatures. Normally, poachers set trap targeting to catch small wildlife like forest antelopes, bush pigs but at end of it, gorillas also get trapped and once they fail to remove the set wire snares, this can lead to death or endangering some parts of their bodies. Still, cases of killing gorillas are there mainly for some parts of their bodies which poachers sell to researchers and the infants as their pets. Other reasons include traditional medicine,

Oil and gas exploration

This is another major threat to the lives of mountain gorillas especially in the Virunga National Park in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This factor affects negatively the security of these creatures and also other wildlife species.

Political unrest 

Civil war still poses high risk to the lives of mountain gorillas mostly the Virunga National Park of DR Congo. Gorilla conservation in this park has become more challenging.

In summary, mountain gorillas are a few most endangered creatures and the only primate species whose population is gradually increasing. There are many factors that have contributed to their current status and they still require maximum protection and conservation.

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