The Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla beringei), also called N-gagi in Swahili, is classified as endangered, with the remaining population estimated at 630-700. These vegetarians live in Eastern and Central Africa’s dense tropical rainforests, in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Virunga Volcanoes run through a western section of the Rift Valley, forming part of the border between Uganda, DRC and Rwanda. This range and the nearby Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda are the last refuges of the most endangered of the gorilla subspecies, the Mountain gorilla. Due to the inaccessibility and density of their range, it is only in the last 30 years that scientists have learned details of the mountain gorilla’s life in the wild.
Though Mountain gorillas are large and powerful, they are also very gentle and affectionate, shy and retiring rather than ferocious and treacherous. This gorilla is seldom aggressive, unless harassed. If threatened, it will valiantly defend its family group. Mothers will fight to the death to protect their young. Family groups are close-knit and may have up to 30 members. An adult alpha male (silverback) leads the troop. In addition to providing protection to troop members, silverbacks maintain order and lead all troop activities, such as feeding trips, resting time and travel. They also father the majority of the troop’s young. Mountain gorillas wander the home ranges of 10-15 square miles, feeding and resting throughout the day. They eat a variety of plants, including wild celery, bamboo, thistles, stinging nettles, bedstraw and certain fruit. The gorillas provide important ecological services in their rainforest communities by dispersing the seeds of fruits and plants that they consume. The Mountain gorilla’s only known enemies are leopards and humans. They are seriously threatened by loss of habitat due to poaching and human encroachment. The rich volcanic soil of the Virungas is highly valued as farming land. In Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo, a regional conservation program stressing the importance of maintaining the virgin forest watershed and the need to habituate some troops of gorillas for tourist visits has helped ease encroachment. The Mountain gorillas are also victims of the region’s civil war and are killed or captured by poachers and their body parts are sold to collectors. The baby gorillas are sold illegally as pets, research subjects, or as private zoo animals. Gorillas are also susceptible to various parasites and diseases, especially pneumonia during the long, cold wet seasons.
Aside from the silver stripe on their backs, male mountain gorillas are distinguished from females by a crest of fur on their heads. Their massive build is robust with long, muscular arms, a massive chest, and broad hands and feet. It is the hairiest race of gorillas with long, thick black hair that insulates from the cold at high elevations. The Mountain gorilla’s eyes and their expression are hauntingly reminiscent of the human gaze and their ears are dwarfed by a large head and hairless, shiny black muzzle. Older males develop a crown of muscle and hair that makes the head look even longer. The fully adult male Mountain gorilla is twice as large as the female.They are famous for their repertoire of calls which include grunts, hoots, the roar and chest beating ritual. Mountain gorillas cannot swim but they can use tools to solve problems. They’ve been observed using a tree branch as a bridge to cross a patch of muddy ground. Mountain gorillas are possibly mankind’s closest relative – sharing at least 97%-98% of their DNA with the human race.
pish-posh says . . .we begin cutting our wisdom teeth the first time we bite off more than we can chew
- even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth ... "you owe me"
I invite your comments, anecdotes and observations.
save a lifePumpkin is a darling boy. (4 yrs NSW). He’d make an ideal family companion. He’s good with other dogs, cats and loves cuddles. He'd rather be near you, than kept outdoors. Pumpkin has a thick coat, enjoys/needs regular grooming to look his best. To adopt Pumpkin email firstname.lastname@example.org.
irish blessings to all
- aah . . . pain relief
- ‘most wanted’ mug shots slideshow
- luck of the irish
- she who laughs last
- egyptian vulture
- it’s elementary my dear watson
- chasing the dime
- do the right thing
- nana gaia’s pantry
- talkin ’bout Y generation
- monkey business
- water water everywhere
- probiotic yoghurt
- sand dune cats
- the power of one
- random acts of kindness
- flower-power to the rescue
- marlon’s eagle-eye
- samaritan702′s trump deals
acknowledgementmy thanks to google - to find photographs for articles, i google 'subject' and 'copyright free'