Facts About Mountain Gorillas

Facts About Mountain Gorillas

There are three sub species of gorillas in the world and of these three, the mountain gorillas are the largest and rarest and very strong with a short trunk and broad chest and shoulders. The male endangered gorillas develop a streak of silver hair alongside their backs and during their maturity, they are called the silver backs. These silver backs reach an average of 6 feet tall while standing upright and weigh almost 400 to 500 pounds which makes them the largest great apes. The females on the other hand are relatively smaller and stand and average of about 4 to 5 feet tall and weigh about 150 to 200 pounds.

Currently, fewer than 10000 mountain gorillas survive while approximately 320 gorillas inhabit the Virunga volcanoes regions of Rwanda, Zaire and Uganda and the remaining number of inhabits Uganda in the national parks of Bwindi and Mgahinga national park. These endangered species live up to 53 years in the captivity and are found only in the forest ecosystems of the above countries, while the dense eco-system  of  the  mountains in East Africa are the remaining in habitat of the mountain gorillas. Their main diet is; leaves roots, stems, vines, and bark from trees, shrubs-sized plants, and bamboo shoots and herbs and they are shy while consuming these foods and live in the social groups of 2 to 35 individuals while an adult male silver-back is the leader and protector of the band which usually consists of females  and offsprings.

The male gorillas Silver-backs will be in charge of almost everything that threatens their group and are known for the chest beating displays when in danger and has got large canines that come with maturity. The black silver-backs are usually sexually mature at the age of 11 years and are very strong, dominant and each usually leads a troop of 5 to 30 gorillas and this is the center of the troop’s attention making all the decisions, determining the movements which leads others to feeding sites and mediating conflicts. They slowly begin to leave their original troop when they are about 11 years old travelling alone and sometimes with a group of other males.

The infant gorillas will normally stay with their mothers for a period of about 3-4 years while the males will care for the weaned young orphans and if challenged the young ones a silver back will eventually scream, break branches, beat the chest and bare his teeth and very occasionally, a group might be taken over in its entirety by another male.

The female gorillas breed at the age of 10 and they typically bear young ones every four to five years, giving birth after a gestation period of 8 to 9 months which cling to their   mother’s chests until they are old enough to ride on the back while remaining with their mothers until 5 years of age. These great apes are very intelligent closely rated to human beings and a few individuals in captivity have been taught sign language for example kako.

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