8 Facts about the Mountain Gorillas of Uganda
Gorillas are fascinating because they emulate so many human behaviors. Playful, inquisitive, and docile, these majestic beasts hold a truly special place in the animal kingdom.
In 1847, the genus was called “Troglodytes” and was renamed “Gorilla” in 1852. Gorillas are divided into two subspecies: Western lowland gorilla and mountain gorillas. It’s the later subspecies, mountain gorillas, to which this article pertains.
Here are some fun and interesting facts about the Mountain Gorillas of Uganda.
They can only be found in two places on the planet
These places are the Virunga Massif, a mountainous area that touches upon Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the other place is the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
There are only about 880 mountain gorillas left in the world
Out of that 880, over 400 of the remaining population inhabits the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This makes them an endangered species, so you won’t find them in zoos anywhere.
They are a subspecies called Gorilla beringei beringei
These are different from the gorillas you will see in other parts of the world and in zoos. Mountain gorillas stand out because their skin is darker and their fur longer/denser than others of their kind.
Mountain gorillas cry, laugh, and play
Some “human-esc” behaviors you might observe in mountain gorillas are the tendency to cry, laugh, and play. These gorillas will cry when hurt and sometimes laugh if tickled.
They Barely Drink Water
This is because they spend almost all of their time foraging for green leaves, shoots and stems. Their diet provides them with enough hydration through the moisture found in plants.
They live up to 40 or 50 years old
These gorillas have long lives, so long as they can survive their perilous first year when they are still vulnerable.
They travel in groups, typically with a single adult male
Mountain gorillas stick to their family unit, which can range from 5 individuals to 30 with an average of about 10. These units have 1—maybe 2—adult males with the rest being females and infants.
They communicate with grunts, barks, hoots, and hands
These gorillas, like most animals, have their own language with which they can communicate to one another. They may also beat their chest or scream to issue warnings or sound the alarm.
Get Up Close and Personal
Want to see gorillas and chimps (safely!) in their natural habitat? Try the Gorillas and Chimps of Uganda travel package for a 9-day stay intended to let you do just that.
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