10 Interesting Questions About Mountain Gorillas

Viewing the rare mountain gorillas in their natural habitats is a life changing experience. There are however many questions about these endangered Apes all of which are vital for gorilla safari holidays. We have listed some of the frequently asked questions and answers about mountain gorillas;

Where do the mountain gorillas stay?

Only three destinations in the world inhabit these critically endangered Apes and they include Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In Uganda, they live only in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in the southwestern part of the country. Over 400 of them live in Bwindi and 80 are in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In Rwanda, they are found in Volcanoes National Park, a 160 square kilometer protected area Northwestern. Popular as the oldest conservation area in Africa and in DRC, mountain gorillas live in the Virunga National Park, world heritage site in Eastern Congo that borders Uganda and Rwanda. The Virunga National Park is Africa’s oldest park and Africa’s most biologically rich conservation area. The park spans 7800 square kilometers and inhabits about 200 mountain gorillas. Booking a gorilla safari in these destinations will offer you the lifetime opportunity of meeting these great apes in the wild!

Are mountain gorillas also found in the zoo?

No! They only live in natural forests. You can only find them in mountainous areas (wilderness) and only in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Southwestern Uganda; the Virunga National Park in Eastern DRC and Volcanoes National Park in Northwestern, Rwanda.

What behavior do mountain gorillas have?

These remarkable Apes spend much of their time feeding, playing, foraging and resting in their nests. They live in groups with one silverback as their leader with many females and infants. Mountain gorillas are peaceful but they tend to be aggressive when there is fight between their groups.  This is a common behavior amongst gorillas in the wild especially when one silverback attacks for new group.

Which food do gorillas eat?

Mountain gorillas are vegetarians primarily dwelling on leaves, shoots, roots, stems, tree barks and flowers. They also feed on fruits, bamboo shoots and wild celery. Their main home is the hagenia forest since their food is explored within this area throughout the year. The Bamboo shoots tends to grow faster and tender shoots are accessible in the months of August and December.

What are some of the threats to mountain gorillas?

With less than 900 gorillas in whole world and there are many threats that have led to their status of being critically endangered species some of which include poaching, habitat loss, encroachment, civil wars, mining and human infectious diseases.

Are mountain gorilla related to human beings?

They are referred as “our close relatives,” sharing about 98% of their DNA with humans. Gorillas and humans, originated from the universal ancestor and some of the features are more like that of the humans especially the family, they are emotional in natures, playful, humble, and intelligent. They also demonstrate body language. However, they are very susceptible to human infectious diseases.

How do Mountain gorillas live?

Just like humans, these primates also have a social life style and they live in families but the size varies. One group comprises of infants, juveniles, females and males. The silverback is the main dominant in the gorilla family whose responsibility largely depends on protection and taking care of family members in terms of food. At the age of 11 years, male gorillas can split away from their biological group but they find it hard to join already established group. In many occasions, they are considered like enemies. Females leave their families at 8 years and then join the new once. They also mourn their colleagues when they die in the family.

What is the average life expectancy of mountain gorillas?

They can live up to 30 to 40 years in the wild.

Are Mountain Gorillas really friendly?

Well known as intelligent, humble, affectionate and gentle primates in the world. They spend much of their time interacting, feeding, playing but they tend to be aggressive if they are irritated by intruders in their group. Tourists can also visit habitats only when they are peaceful however, when there is danger they tend to charge against it just like humans.

What is the weight of silverback gorilla?

A mature silverback weighs at least 450 and 500 pounds and the height is 5 to 6 feet. They are big in size and they eat up to 60 pounds of vegetation daily.

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