WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT MOUNTAIN GORILLAS

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Facts about Mountain Gorillas

Reproduction; their mating season is all through the year with the gestation period of 8.5 months. Gorillas have a litter size of commonly 1 baby but on rare occasions, they also give birth to twins. Gorilla is helpless as infants at birth, they are normally born with the weight of approximately 3-4 lbs.

Gorilla infants learn to crawl when they are about 2 months old and they normally learn to walk when they are making 8 or 9 months of age. Baby gorillas are nursed by their mothers for at least 3 years just to make sure they are strong enough to be independent to survive in the jungle.

Lifespan; while in the wild, gorillas can live up to 35 years of age and can live up to 50 to 53 years in captivity.

Size and weight; Mountain Gorillas are one of the largest great apes in the world. The males can stand on 5-6 feet with 5 inches and the weight of 300 to 450 pounds. The female gorillas measure up to 4 ½ to 5 feet while standing upright and they can weigh up to 200 pounds.

Their Habitat; these gentle animals are critically endangered and love to stay in dense and rain forests.

Food/diet; mountain Gorillas are purely Vegetarians they feed on several wild plants, thistles, bedstraws, plant shoots, small tree branches, some fruits, flowers and leaves. These Veggies are so important to the Mountain Gorillas because they provide them satisfactory moisture at the end of the day these apes may not yearn for drinking water.

Behavior/Conduct; these huge apes are gentle shy and humble, they will never seek any trouble unless they are harassed or tampered with. In case of threats gorillas protect each other with in the same group. Their family groups are so close that members of the same group move together following the orders of the dominant male, the Silverback.

Within their daily routines and activities, mountain gorillas wander within their home ranges of like 10 to 20 square miles as they feed and rest during the day. Mountain Gorillas are itinerant which is one reason they keep constructing new nests each and every day at dusk.

Defending their groups; Mountain Gorillas are truly humble and shy when undisturbed or when their family is not tampered with. Otherwise when the group detect any threat or attack the behavior changes the Silver back charges and gives off an intensive smell and releases characteristic sounds, other group members gather around the male gorilla and start to scream, they grab foliage into their mouths, stand straight on their hind legs, tear and throw plants, stamp their feet, drum up their chests with fists. The adult male (Silverback) has to defend his group and it has to position itself in between the attacker and the family group.

Predators of the Gorillas; Just like all other animals in the jungle, gorillas also have predators and these predators are commonly humans and leopards. Within the Eastern Africa, Gorillas were being hunted down in the past for the traps set for other animals, some poachers used to destroy gorilla families just to capture the infants for the zoo. Some Gorillas were being hunted and their heads were used as trophies.

DNA in Mountain Gorillas; Mountain Gorillas share 98 percent of Humans DNA.

Illness of the Mountain Gorillas; Due to the fact that Gorillas and Humans have so much in common, Gorillas are prone to the same diseases that affect humans. With the continental Africa about 100 years ago, Gorillas have been exposed to the growing population of Humans who share the same forests with them this way they could be infected with diseases Humans carry with them. That’s why there was a need for ecotourism to help conserve gorillas in their natural Habitats through protecting and managing National Parks.

Mountain Gorillas can surely get infected by most of the diseases humans suffer from, it is very important that tourists keep good distances from Gorillas while they encounter them as far as possible. Respiratory tract diseases like pneumonia are the most dangerous ones given the wet and cold climate Mountain Gorillas dwell in.

Gorilla infants learn to crawl when they are about 2 months old and they normally learn to walk when they are making 8 or 9 months of age. Baby gorillas are nursed by their mothers for at least 3 years just to make sure they are strong enough to be independent to survive in the jungle.

Social Life of the Gorillas

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Mountain Gorillas Live in Families, which families are usually consisting of a single elderly, largest and the oldest male called the Silverback dominating the routine works and activities of the Group daily. A Gorilla family normally has that dominant silverback, three adult females and about 5 to 6 off springs (the Juveniles). The Silverback keeps defending the family all the time especially during fights with other gorilla families.

There are younger males of the family called the black backs, but these just follow and submit to the elderly silverback, the silver back makes decisions for the group on what to eat, where to move, where to sleep in the night and so on. In case of any attacks, the Silver back will always beat his chest as a way of getting back to the attackers, it is so aggressive when it comes to protecting the family.

Mountain Gorillas are very shy animals and they are only active during daytime, at the nightfall, the silverback leads the family to where they will construct the night nests for an overnight, each gorilla constructs the nest apart from the young ones which normally share the nests with their mothers as they have to nurse and feed them at night. The nests are constructed using tree leaves, branches, and other plant materials.

NOTE: It still amazes me that Gorillas do not sleep in the nests they spent the previous night in, however much the nests of the previous night may be near them, they go on and construct new nests for the fresh and safe night.

The young male gorillas tend to leave the family as they continue to grow older, they either choose to live as solitary silver backs or they end up running with some members of the family to create their own family groups, after all they can mate with group mates or grow a big family.

What everyone needs to know about Mountain Gorillas.

Gorilla-Tracking_05Mountain Gorillas are famously known to be the closest living cousins of humans and they are one of those apes that are closely linked by the DNA, the others are the chimpanzees and both these apes are so different from all other primates for the fact that they can walk upright for some time, they have no tails, they are larger/bigger and they have extra developed brains. Mountain Gorillas are the largest of the living primates and they adore living in remote or unapproachable places, there places of dwelling are normally dense deep within the thick forests in the tropical African countries.

Mountain Gorillas can be found in two regions; in the Virunga range of the extinct Volcanic Mountains on the borders of (DRC) Congo, Rwanda and Uganda and within Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Most researchers have always believed that the Gorillas within Bwindi Forest are a separate subspecies. Mountain Gorillas can live in Montane Forests and Bamboo Forests at a high altitude of approximately (2,500-4,000 m).

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