The 10 Little Facts about Mountain Gorillas in East Africa
10 serious facts you didn’t or knew little about mountain gorillas 🦍 in Uganda.
1. Why are they called Mountain Gorillas?
The Mountain Gorillas, the largest primates, live at elevations ranging from 1,500 to 4,000-meters altitude. It canget quite cold up in the Virunga Volcanoes and Bwindi Impenetrable forest, and that is why they have such thick fur. There are about 880 plus Mountain Gorillas in the World – 480 plus in Uganda. The rest are found in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic Congo.
2. Mountain Gorillas are the Gentle Giants of the Forest – not King Kong:
Mountain Gorillas have been portrayed as fierce and aggressive in movies and fiction. They are not King Kong Like Creatures but the Gentle, Peaceful Giants of the Forest. When startled, they will roar and charge up to you but not attack you. If you follow the Gorilla Visit Etiquette, all that roaring is simply an attempt to bluff you. It is an attempt to intimidate you into submission. You should respond by crouching down and lowering your head and peace will return. They are strong creatures – a silverback is estimated to be ten times stronger than an Adult Human, such as a man in his twenties.
3. Mountain Gorillas do not have a Home – they are Wanderers:
Mountain Gorillas do not have a home-base, they have a territory, and each night, they sleep in a different bed made pf twigs, branches, and leaves. They move a few kilometers each day in their area. At times, they might even move to another country, such as from Uganda to Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo. That they do without passports and visas. One of the reasons that you track Mountain Gorillas is because they move each day. At the crack of dawn, pre-trackers will go out and find the Gorilla Group you will be visiting and send the new location to the Rangers that will lead your group to their respective Gorilla Family that will be visited on that day.
4. The Gorilla Doctors make Forest Calls keeping the Mountain Gorillas Healthy:
Yes, Mountain Gorillas have their physicians who visit each Mountain Gorilla Family, making Forest calls to monitor the health of the gorillas, give immunizations, even surgery in the wild is not uncommon. It contributes to the overall conservation efforts and results in increasing numbers of the endangered species.m
5. Mountain Gorillas Communicate with one another:
Even though Mountain Gorillas are almost 98% like Humans, they have a higher larynx than us. They also have a soft palate, which is not large enough for sounds to resonate and do not communicate with verbs, nouns, sentences with one another but with grunts, hoots, gestures, chest-beating, and symbols. Gorillas, not Mountain Gorillas in captivity such as “Koko|” learned to communicate with humans by acquiring the American Sign Language.
6. Mountain Gorillas, though massive, is not fat:
Vegans and Vegetarians often use Mountain Gorillas as an example of what a purely plant-based diet will do for you. They do leave out that Mountain Gorillas will divert from leaves and have a few insects. They will consume over 60 pounds of leaves – vegetables – fruit per day – bulky vegetation per day. Many think because they have big stomachs, they are fat, not realizing that they need a giant belly to digest all this bulk that they consume each day. Mountain Gorillas are lean going by Gorilla Standards.
7. Mountain Gorillas use Tools to Make Life Easier:
Mountain Gorillas will use sticks to extract ants from the ground or even trees. Some have been observed of putting a log across a stream for the gorillas to cross. Gorillas learn the use of tools from other gorillas by example, even silverbacks removing snares from young Gorillas. More examples are probably to follow since the Mountain Gorillas are one the most studied species, and most likely future revelations will come out about the use of tools as they have with the Chimpanzees found in Kibale Forest of Uganda.
8. The silver coat on a Silverback Mountain Gorilla is a sign of Maturity like a Lion’s Mane:
Younger male Mountain Gorillas are black-backed. When a black-backed Gorilla reaches sexual maturity, he will develop a saddle-shaded silver-haired back as now he takes on the role of a father and protector for young gorillas in the family group.
9. Baby Mountain Gorillas are smaller than Human Babies:
When Mountain Gorillas are born, they weigh three to four pounds, lower than average human babies, but unlike humans can grow into 500 plus pound primates.
10. The greatest Threat to Mountain Gorillas:
There are not many natural enemies for Mountain Gorillas, but human beings. Poaching Snares set for small antelopes, trap and kill Mountain Gorillas, Human encroachment into their habitat. Charcoal logging, especially in the Congo.
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