12 Intriguing facts you didn’t know about gorillas-Rwanda Safari News
Gorillas are known to be one of the elusive species of the wild and atop reason for Rwanda safaris. With their character, physique and elusiveness seeing a gorilla closely is one of the top bucket list safari activities by many travelers here are 12 intriguing facts you didn’t know about gorillas;
Mountain Gorillas are no longer critically endangered
Mountain gorillas are the only great apes facing population increase. In 2018, a census was carried out within the Virunga massif with results increasing the total of Mountain Gorillas from 880 to 1004. Mountain gorillas for this are facing what you can refer to as fragile success. On the IUCN Red list, Mountain Gorillas were listed among the critically endangered species but then after the census they were move to endangered, leaving the verge of extinction by one step. At least a step to success. All this credit goes to conservation efforts within the Virunga Massif by the three counties of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo that have done their best to conserve the rare species.
2. Gorillas have two different species
Gorillas survive in two different species which are the eastern and western gorillas with each having two other sub species. The mountain and Eastern lowland are a sub species of the eastern gorilla whereas the western lowland and Cross River are subspecies of the western gorilla. The increase in gorilla populatio was only for mountain gorillas leaving the lowland gorillas endangered.
3. A gorilla is the largest living world primate
The gorilla is the largest living world primate. An Eastern gorilla can weigh up to 150kg meanwhile the western Gorilla weighs up to 160kg. The Eastern lowland gorilla is the largest of all the four sub-species.
4. Gorillas live in different habitats
Different types of habitats accommodate the gorillas. The Mountain Gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) live in high altitudes of about 8000 – 13,000ft (1,500m-4000m) -the same height a sky diver would jump out of a plane! The lowland gorillas live in lower altitude tropical forest at about 1,600 m (5,200 ft) above sea level. The naming of the habitats is therefore from the habitats, Mountain and Lowland.
5. Mountain Gorillas are only remaining in 4 national parks
In the whole of the world, Mountain Gorillas are known to live in only four national parks of Africa which are Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Congo.
Just like many other primates, gorillas are social animals. They live in families or groups, of up to 30-40 members. A family has an order in which it is run and they ensure each family member is well.
7. A silverback leads the family
A gorilla family is led by a dominant male known as the silverback. Named so because of the grey fur that develops on their backs when they grow older. The silverback protects the family and determines where they will feed from each day. Most of the females always want to mate with the silverback and this is one of the reason why families split. Females determine the success of the family since they opt to have a strong male heading the family.
8. Their body structure differs
Mountain gorillas have shorter arms, larger teeth, nose and jaw meanwhile the lowland gorillas have a shorter head and body fur.
9. Gorillas are not 100% herbivores
All gorillas are not 100% herbivores. The Mountain gorillas strictly base their feeding on plant material such as leaves, shoots, stems, flowers and bark from the trees. Western lowland gorillas on top of plant material add fruits, Insects especially termites to their diet.
A male adult gorilla is estimated at eat more than 18 kg (40 lbs.) of vegetation each single day.
11. Gorillas rarely drink water
Since the high altitudes that host them are cooler, gorillas rarely drink water. Most of the water that they consume is gotten from the vegetation they feed on. They at times absorb water from due using the fur on the back of their hands and then suck it.
12. You can only see Mountain gorillas physically by a trek
One can actually meet the gorillas by easily planning either a Uganda gorilla safari, Gorilla safari Rwanda or a Congo gorilla trekking safari for both a mountain and lowland gorilla trek. Mountain gorillas to say only survive in their natural habitat and therefore if you want to meet them you will have to go gorilla trekking to see them. However, if you can’t hike but have the love to trek gorillas you can hire a sedan chair and four porters to carry you untill you spend 1 hour in the presence of the gorillas.
These 12 intriguing facts you didn’t know about gorillas are not all you can learn about gorillas. An hour with a gorilla is a costly one but worth it and you would learn much more from these special that share about 90% with humans.