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10-Fun and Serious Facts about Mountain Gorillas in Uganda-Rwanda

Posted by on October 31, 2020

Interesting Facts about the Mountain Gorillas you will be Tracking in Uganda-Rwanda.

Fun and Serious Facts about Mountain Gorillas You did not Know.

10-Fun and Serious Facts about Mountain GorillasHere are some Fun and Serious Facts about Mountain Gorillas. Most of them did not know. Facts such as that you cannot see Mountain Gorillas outside of their Habitat in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, or Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mountain Gorillas do not survive in Zoos. You can only see them in the wild of Africa in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park.

They are an endangered species. However, due to active conservation measures and gorilla tourism paying the way, they are rebound.

Enjoy the Fun and Serious Facts about Mountain Gorillas

10 – Fun and Serious Facts about Mountain Gorillas

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 can get 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 of twigs, branches, and leaves.  They move a few kilometers each day in their area. At times, they might even move to another country. It has happened with the Nyakegezi Group that moved from Uganda to Rwanda and returned to Uganda. That they did 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 gorillas’ health, give immunizations, even surgery in the wild is common.  It contributes to the overall conservation efforts and results in increasing numbers of endangered species.

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.  Many think that they are fat because of the big stomachs, not realizing that they need a giant belly to digest all the bulk 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 putting a log across a stream for the gorillas to cross.  Gorillas learn 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 of the most studied species. Most likely future revelations will come out about using tools as they have with the Chimpanzees found in the 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. 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 they can grow into 500 plus pound primates, unlike humans.

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.

Mountain Gorillas are susceptible to COVID-19:

Mountain Gorillas share 99% of their DNA with humans, which means that they can infect us, and we can infect them. Mountain Gorillas regularly die of respiratory diseases. They are highly vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. The Uganda Wildlife Authority will tighten the visitation guidelines, especially the seven-meter now so-called social-distancing rule.

The Mountain Gorillas are not aware of the visitation guidelines and may approach humans closer than the seven-meter rule. Rangers then will have to draw visitors back.  Face Masks are the smart attire to wear during the actual time with a gorilla family.

Protection of the Gentle Giants of the Forest should be on everyone’s mind. Trekkers should gladly put up with the few limitations that will be in place. Two face masks are required for each gorilla Trek.

Additional face mask rules may be implemented as deemed necessary.

You are invited to an Incredible up-close encounter with the Mountain Gorillas:

It is one thing to read about the Mountain Gorillas. It is another thing to be with them for one hour, or in Uganda where you can be on a Gorilla Habituation Experience, which means you are with a gorilla family for 4 hours.

Gorilla Visitors make the Conservation of the endangered Mountain Gorillas possible by the permit fees paid.  Even the local communities benefit and begin to support Gorilla Tourism and the conservation of the Mountain Gorillas.

You cannot see Mountain Gorilla anywhere else in Africa. It is only in Uganda and Rwanda where you can do it safely.

Uganda especially has the best Chimpanzee Trekking in East Africa, plus the Big-5.  For most, it begins with time with the Mountain Gorilla, takes us up on our invitation, and join us soon.

Hope that you enjoyed the Fun and Serious Facts about Mountain Gorillas


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