Mountain gorilla is sometimes referred to as Gorilla gorilla beringei
in the scientific term and its Swahili name is N’gagi. Few animals
have sparked the imagination of man as much as the gorilla, the
largest of the living primates and the last member of the ape family
known to science. Most gorillas live in inaccessible regions in
tropical dense forests of Uganda
, Rwanda,Democratic Republic of Congo.
A chain of eight volcanoes known as the Virunga Volcanoes runs through
a western section of the Rift Valley, forming part of the border
between Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. These
spectacular mountains,Mgahinga Gorilla National park and nearby Bwindi
Impenetrable National Park in Uganda are the last homes for the most
endangered mountain gorillas. Bwindi Impenetrable National park hosts
the big number of mountain gorillas, accomodating almost 400 mountain
gorillas.There many gorilla groups spread in Buhoma side of Bwindi
Impenetrable National Park.
A research conducted by Craig Stanford has shown that the Bwindi
gorilla’s diet is markedly higher in fruit than that of the Virunga
population, and that the Bwindi gorillas, even silverbacks, are more
likely to climb trees to feed on foliage, fruits, and epiphytes.
Almost about 880 of these individuals are remaining and half of them
are found Uganda. Their lifespan is usually 53 years in captivity.
The gorilla is massive, with a short, thick trunk and broad chest and
shoulders. Its eyes and ears are dwarfed by its large head and
hairless, shiny black muzzle. Older males develop a crown of muscle
and hair that makes the head look even longer. The arms are longer
than the stubby legs. The fully adult male mountain gorilla weight
almost 195kg upright standing height of 150cm usually weighing twice
as much as females,at a mean of 100kg and a height of 130cm.
The most serious threat to gorillas is habitat loss. The Virunga
Volcanoes have rich volcanic soil which are highly valued as farming
land. In Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, a regional conservation program has
been put in place for maintaining the importance of the virgin forest
watershed and the need to habituate some groups of gorillas for
tourist visits has helped ease encroachment.
The gorilla is shy and retiring rather than ferocious and treacherous.
It usually seeks no trouble unless harassed but will valiantly defend
its family group if threatened. Family groups are close-knit and may
have up to 30 members, but even if smaller, the group usually consists
of at least one older male, one or more females and a few juveniles.
Gorillas have strong attachments to members of their own group and
even when groups meet and mingle and then subsequently part, each
animal tends to remain with its respective unit. An adult male called
a silverback named for the silvery gray hairs on its back normally
leads each group, serving as its chief protector and defender.
Gorillas continually wander through their home area usually ranging
from 10 to 15 sq miles, feeding and resting throughout the day.
Gorillas are nomadic therefore they build new nests each day at dusk,
constructing them of bent branches in a tree or of grasses on the
ground. A group’s hierarchy, ritualized behavior and bluff charges
between males prevents conflict among the groups. Gorillas scream,
grab foliage and stuff it in their mouths, stand erect on their hind
legs, tear up and throw plants, drum on the chest with hands or fists,
stamp their feet, strike the ground with the palms of their hand.
Although they eat a variety of plants, favorites include wild celery,
bamboo, thistles, stinging nettles, bedstraw and certain fruit. These
plants seem to provide sufficient moisture so that gorillas do not
usually need water.
#CARING FOR THE YOUNG
Mountain gorillas have a slow rate of reproduction. Females give birth
for the first time at about age 10 and will have more offspring every
three or four years. A male begins to breed between 12 and 15 years,
when he is in charge of his own group. Able to conceive for only about
three days each month, the female produces a single young.
The gorilla’s only known enemies are leopards and humans. Crocodiles
are potentially dangerous to lowland gorillas. In eastern Africa they
have been the victims of snares and traps set for antelope and other
animals. Poachers have also destroyed entire family groups in their
attempts to kill them so that they can sell their heads and hands as
This article was write by
Tour Operator/guide:-Munyirwa Osman
Safari Company:-Wamala Safaris Ltd
Email address:-firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Facebookpage:- Wamala Safaris Ltd
Tel:- +256757172864 / +256783185084
You can check on their website for more info or to contact the guide