Mountain gorillas are very friendly and gentle animals though they are giant, muscular, intelligent and strong. Gorillas can indeed be trained and they get very close to humans like Dian Fossey who lived with mountain gorillas and had this to say “I feel more conformable being with gorillas than being around people”.
Gorillas are friendly except if you go on their territory, hurt their infants and offend them, mountain gorillas will become aggressive only when they feel disturbed and when they charge they react by vigorous bites, thumping, breaking ribs, dragging and if a person is not rescued a gorilla will kill.
Before wild mountain gorillas can become friendly or habituated to become used to human presence, rangers and researchers take a process of at least two years of making gorillas get used to human presence however, even if a gorilla group is habituated there are rules and regulations to be followed by tourists during gorilla trekking and regulations.
Below are some of the rules and regulations:
While with mountain gorillas tourists should keep a distance of 7 meters from mountain gorillas and do not touch gorillas, they are wild animals.
You must keep your voices low and observe quietly making unnecessary noise can threaten the peace of mountain gorillas and they will feel threatened.
Never look at the gorilla directly in the eye this makes them feel insecure.
Do not attempt to run away in case gorillas charge because this is very risky.
In case a mountain gorilla charges at you follow the guidelines of your guide like crouching down, pretending to eat vegetation and wait for the gorilla to pass.
Do not use cameras with flash lights while trekking mountain gorillas; they don’t like it and may charge at you.
In conclusion gorillas are very friendly but when they become aggressive its extremely dangerous though they first send warning signs like beating chests, thumping the ground thunderously, making loud hoots and groans and tearing and pulling vegetation before they attack. After seeing those warnings and you persist a gorilla will eventually charge at you.