Gorillas are some of the 8 great apes left in the world. These animals are native to Africa and today many travelers travel to the country to see the gorillas in the wild. Here are some fascinating facts about the African gorillas;
Are there other gorillas in the world?
According to Carl Linnaeus’s zoological research; gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and humans belong to the group of primates. For gorilla group, they exist in two species of the gorillas. These are the Eastern Gorilla which has two sub-species; the mountain gorillas (Gorilla, gorilla, beringei) and the the Eastern Lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla graueri). The mountain gorillas are found in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo while the Eastern lowland gorilla is endemic to the Eastern part of DR Congo (Kahuzi Biega National Park and Maiko National Park).
The Western Gorilla also has two subspecies. The Western Lowland gorillas (Gorillas gorilla gorilla) found in 6 countries in Africa and the Cross River Gorilla only found in Nigeria. These gorillas can be differentiated using their color and the sizes.
How many gorillas are there in the world?
The four known subspecies of gorillas are vulnerable in nature. The Western Lowland gorillas are estimated to be over 50000 and are found in 6 countries in Western and Central Africa.
The Eastern Lowland gorillas that live in the Eastern Congolese rain forests have declined and are protected in Kahuzi Biega National Park and Maiko National Park. Around the 1960’s, they ranged from 5000 to 15000. Currently, it is estimated that there are only 2500 and in DRC they are 250 lowland gorillas.
Mountain gorillas are the most critically endangered species out of all the four subspecies. Currently it has is estimated that there are just 1000 gorillas left in the whole world. These great apes are found in two separate habitats, the Virunga ranges that spread over Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of Uganda.
How can tourists help in gorilla conservation?
You can access information about mountain gorillas and then visit community to create awareness about their endangerment. While on a gorilla safari, you can also participate in numerous gorilla events that are organized or donate to conservation projects that are already established or volunteer in any of conservation organizations. Most importantly, observe gorilla trekking rules and regulations.
How many infants do Female gorillas have?
Due to slow rate in reproduction, the maximum number of babies that they can have is 2 to 6 but the male gorillas tend to get 10 to 20 offspring from different females. The females give birth once till again after 4 years. Males become sexually active at the age of 15 and 40% of their infants rarely survive during their first weeks of growth.
How long does the gorilla baby stay with the mother?
Youngsters live with their mothers up to four years and the mother takes full care of the infants until they are able to live independently. The new born baby weighs 5 pounds at birth and mostly covered by black hair but their hair grow faster than that of humans.
At what age do males grow silver hair on their backs?
A mature male mountain gorilla is referred as “silverback” due to silver hair on his back. At maturity age, males grow the silver colored hair on their backs and sizable to view compared to others.