Everything You Need to Know about Mountain Gorillas
Scientific Name: Gorilla beringei beringei
Typical Weight: up to 480 pounds
Height: 4-6 feet tall
Food Preference: Omnivore
age: up to 35 years old
Group Name: Troop
- The Mountain Gorilla Originally lived in the forests high up on inactive volcano slopes. The forests ranged anywhere from 8000-13000 feet high. Due to various reason I will explain later, the Mountain Gorilla is protected in 4 national parks in Central Africa. Half can be found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, and the other half are split between 3 National Parks in the Virunga Mountain range bordering Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They typically stay in groups of 20-50 members with an older Silverback Male as the predominate leader of the group. (Groups are called troops
- The Mountain Gorilla is larger and has longer hair than the Western Lowland Gorilla but has slightly shorter arms. The Color of the fur is black/brown but as it reaches the age of 14 it will start to develop a grayish/white strip on its back. The Arms of the Mountain Gorilla host more muscle than their legs, probably as an evolution advantage toward manipulating the surrounding environment for food or just as a way to defend itself. The forehead and head are large in size especially compared to the eyes and ears. The Belly stands out by taking on a more rounded shape. The feet have opposable thumbs meaning they can be used to grip and quick up various objects.
- Mountain Gorillas typically stick to a vegetarian diet consisting of leaves, shoots, stems, roots, flowers, fruits, snails, ants, insects, and various other small animals. Leaves are the primary source of their diet because of the cold and secluded environment they live in.
Status: ENDANGERED (AT RISK OF EXTINCTION)
- In the past 100 years, the population of the Mountain Gorilla has been reduced to less than 700. This number would probably be lower but due to the efforts of the national parks and conservation groups that support them, the population is slowing growing. Deforestation and The destruction of their habitat has played a key role in low survival rates. The War in Rwanda in the 1990’s as well as civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo forced many refugees to leave their home and search for safety elsewhere, such as the Virunga Mountain range. Charcoal Manufacturing and trade has also wreaked havoc on the surrounding environment as hundreds up to thousands of acres are cut down, resulting in the deaths of many Mountain Gorillas. Poachers hunting and set up various traps tend to harm or even kill the Mountain Gorillas as they search for food. Lastly, Gorillas are very closely related to humans and as such are susceptible to human disease and illness. Once sick, chances for survival are slime.
If you want to learn more on what efforts are being taken to insure this beautiful creature continues to have a home, visit https://www.worldwildlife.org/ or the many other organizations dedicated to the conservation of nature. The world is filled with unique and beautiful creatures of all shapes and sizes and i hope that continues to be the case in the future.