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ABOUT MOUNTAIN GORILLAS

about mountain gorillas, Need to know some of the unusual facts about them? Mountain gorillas are some of the unique creatures on earth and an encounter with them in the wild is by far a lifetime experience. They are among the 4 sub-species of gorillas in Africa and the others include Cross River gorillas, Eastern lowland, and Western lowland gorillas.

Where do mountain gorillas live?

The fact about the endangered mountain gorillas is that they exist in only 3 African states; Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). There are also only 4 gorilla safari parks to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and these include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park; Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

How many mountain gorillas still exist on earth?

Mountain gorillas are some of the threatened species with not more than 1063 individuals still thriving on earth today. Although they are the only gorilla species whose population is gradually increasing, more efforts are required to ensure their sustainable survival in the wild.

 Intelligent creatures

Like humans, mountain gorillas are very intelligent and 98% of their genetic DNA is the same as that of humans making them our closest relatives in the wild. They have a unique identifier, each with a rare pattern on their nose. They use tools to perform different activities for instance they can remove snares from their colleagues, extractants from the ground, and many more.

They live in families just like humans and every group family is led by a silverback-a dominant male gorilla who takes responsibility to protect the rest of the members, find what to feed, and a lot more. A gorilla family can feature about 2 to 40 members including female gorillas, other males, juveniles, infants, and other members that join from other groups. A close encounter with these apes in the wild while on gorilla safari lets you make a comparison between them and humans.

 massive creatures

These apes come in distinctly massive bodies comprising of thick black fur unlike the eastern lowland gorillas and western lowland gorillas. They have shorter arms compared to other lowland gorillas. A mature male gorilla grows a saddle-shaped area with silver hair.

They live in high elevation

On a trek to view mountain gorillas, you will realize these apes spend most of their time in high elevation with montane and bamboo forests. They are hairy making them adapted to the cold conditions. They range at an altitude of about 4500m and a complete trek to see them on gorilla tour may cover about 2 to 6 hours which also includes 1 hour of magical encounter.

 listed among the endangered species

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists these unusual apes as endangered. Their survival in the wild remains a big challenge due to continued poaching, habitat loss, the spread of human infectious diseases, civil wars, and others.

largely herbivores

Mountain gorillas like most primates spend most of their time foraging on leaves, roots, shoots, plants, and fruits. An infant mountain gorilla can breastfeed up to 3-4 years, a stage when they begin feeding on plants. These apes can feed on 18kgs of vegetation daily.

Mountain gorillas make new nests daily

Mountain gorillas like chimpanzees spend a night in a new nest daily that they make, unlike humans who sleep in one house for a long period of time. Their nests are built using tree branches, leaves, and other materials.

Females have the same gestation period as humans

At maturity period, a female gorilla can leave the family for about 9 years and they take about 8-9 months to give birth. They give birth to a single mountain gorilla and on rare occasions to twins.

Mountain gorillas are gentle, humble and calm

Mountain gorillas are very humble and peaceful creatures to encounter on Uganda gorilla safari or Rwanda safari. They rarely attack unless they are threatened that they can turn aggressive and they can harm.

A gorilla permit is a must-have to trek

Every gorilla safari destination has a set price for gorilla trekking permits. Uganda issues permit to foreign non-residents on gorilla tour at 700 US Dollars, foreign residents at US Dollars 600 and Uganda shillings 250000 for East Africa Community citizens. In Rwanda, gorilla trekking permits are reserved at US Dollars 1500 and 450 US Dollars in DR Congo.

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