Mountain Gorillas

Mountain Gorilla Trekking Tours-Uganda, Rwanda & DR Congo

The mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) is one of two subspecies of the eastern gorilla (Gorilla beringei). One population lives in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and the other in the Virunga Mountains in three adjacent national parks, namely Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Mountain gorillas live in forests high in the mountains, at elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 feet. They have thicker fur, and more of it, compared to other great apes. The fur helps them to survive in a habitat where temperatures often drop below freezing. Despite ongoing civil conflict, poaching and an encroaching human population, both populations of mountain gorillas have increased in number

Interesting facts about mountain gorillas

Mountain Gorillas are found in 3 countries in Africa including Uganda, Congo and Rwanda and are among the rarest and very few gorillas that are left in the world thus we point out some of the facts about mountain gorillas that every traveler out to know as listed below.

Mountain Gorillas live in groups

Mountain gorillas live in groups of up to 30. The group, or troop, is led by a single alpha male, an older silver back. These males are called silver backs because of the silver stripe they develop on their backs when they mature. The oldest males of the group are at least 12 years old. These troops also include several younger males, adult and juvenile females, and infants.

Mountain gorillas Diet

Mountain gorillas eat many types of vegetation, including the stems, roots, leaves, and flowers of plants, and the bark of certain trees. Thistles, wild celery, bamboo shoots, and fruits are additional staples of the mountain gorilla’s diet and adult males can eat up to 34 kilograms of vegetation a day, while a female can eat as much as 18 kilograms

They’re our close relatives

They may be double our size, covered in fur, and walk on all fours, but humans and gorillas are more similar than you think! They have 98% DNA match with Humans which makes them close relatives, Like humans, mountain gorillas have individual finger prints

Mountain gorillas Reproduction

Female gorillas give birth to one infant after a pregnancy of nearly nine months, and may have only 2-6 offspring over the course of their life span. Male gorillas typically father 10-20 offspring, often with 3-4 different females.

Female gorillas usually reach sexual maturity by 10 years of age, while males do not usually become sexually active until they are 15. Female gorillas approach males to initiate mating, and are only sexually receptive during estrous. They have a 28 day estrous cycle, and after they give birth, they stop ovulating for several years. After an eight-and-a-half month gestation period, a single infant is born and stay with the mother for three years.

Aged Male Mountain gorillas are called silver backs

Adult Male Mountain gorillas are known as “silver backs,” because when they reach maturity they begin to develop grayish or silver-colored hair on their backs and they offer protection to group members, maintain order and decide all activities within their troop, they schedule feeding trips, resting time, and travel.

Mountain gorilla’s intelligence

Gorillas are very intelligent and those that have been habituated have been taught sign language to communicate with each other using grunts, chest beatings, hoots, gestures and other signs.

Aggression in mountain gorillas

The mountain gorillas are generally gentle and very shy,  aggression is rare but when two mountain gorilla groups meet, the two silver backs can sometimes engage in a fight to  death, using their canines to cause deep, gaping injuries, When disturbed, a female can fight to death for their young ones while the males can roar, hoot, bark, beat his chest thunderously, throw things and charge.

Mountain gorillas use tools

Mountain gorillas use tools for example they use stems for getting insects or ants from trees or the ground while others put logs on streams for other gorillas to cross and some have been seen putting a stick in water to measure depth.