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Key Characteristics and Traits of Mountain Gorillas

There are so many mountain gorilla characteristics.

Apparently, there are fewer than 1000 mountain gorillas left in the world, with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park harboring half of that population.

Tourists can complement their gorilla trekking safari by conquering the summits of some Virunga Volcanoes for striking views of nature.

Standing at Mount Sabyinyo’s peak means standing in three countries (Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo) at once.

Besides the compliments, this article lists most of the characteristics of mountain gorillas in Africa.

Characteristics of Mountain Gorillas

Trekking mountain gorillas is one of the most sought-after tourist activities in Africa.

Gorillas can only be found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and along the Virunga Area, an area that comprises Virunga National Park in Congo, Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

The mountain gorillas along the Virunga Conservation Area live at the foothills of the forested Virunga Mountains, including Mount Karisimbi, Mount Mikeno, Mount Bisoke, Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Nyamuragira, Mount Nyiragongo, Mount Muhabura, and Mount Gahinga.

19 Mountain Gorilla Characteristics you should know

  1. Gorillas inhabit tropical forests with thick bamboo trees. They can hardly survive in zoos and often die after a short time. The gorillas found in zoos are lowland gorillas.
  2. Mountain gorillas are very gentle animals. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that they are wild animals and can become aggressive when they sense danger.
  3. Mountain gorillas have short trunks with wide shoulders and chests. The eyes and ears are dwarfed by a large muscle, just like the head.
  4. Mountain gorillas can be identified by their nose prints. Just like humans, their nose prints are unique to each individual.
  5. Gorillas move in groups of 5-30 members, with each family led by a dominant silverback that dictates and makes rules in the group. This is one of the most interesting facts about mountain gorillas.
  6. Mountain gorillas inhabit higher altitude places that can sometimes get very cold. They have thick hair and fur on their bodies that help them adapt to this environment.
  7. Gorillas can use stems to fetch food like ants from holes and can also store food in their mouths.
  8. When gorillas charge, they will scream, stamp the ground, tear vegetation, and stand on hind legs. During such situations, the silverback also signals to the rest of the family to take cover.
  9. A female mountain gorilla will give birth to 2-5 offspring in a lifetime, starting at the age of 10 years. Their gestation period lasts about 8-9 months.
  10. Mountain gorillas also have milk teeth that are later replaced by permanent teeth. They have 32 teeth, just like humans.
  11. Gorillas are susceptible to diseases like cold, flu, pneumonia, Ebola, and many more infectious diseases. They can get infected through transmission from human beings or from climatic changes, such as when it’s too cold, they can acquire pneumonia.
  12. Mountain gorillas share over 98% DNA with humans, making them humans’ closest relatives after chimpanzees. They also have feet like humans.
  13. Baby mountain gorillas are born weighing 4 pounds, just like humans. They breastfeed for 1 year and often cling to their mother’s backs from the age of 2-4 years.
  14. Dominant silverback gorillas protect their families, even at the expense of their lives. Female mountain gorillas also take charge of protecting their babies.
  15. Mountain gorillas have a varied diet that includes bamboo, shoots, stems, fruits, flowers, leaves, bulbs, tree bark, termites, ants, and more.
  16. Gorillas rarely drink water because most of the food they consume contains large amounts of water. They also fear water and cross streams by placing logs they use for crossing.
  17. Mountain gorillas make new nests every evening, made of plant materials and leaves. These nests are shared by a mother and a baby, while males sleep in their own nests.
  18. Female mountain gorillas groom their baby gorillas, and baby gorillas also groom themselves.
  19. Male mountain gorillas are called silverbacks because of the silver hair they develop on their backs as they age.

Trekking Mountain Gorillas

Trekking mountain gorillas requires gorilla permits, which cost $700 in Uganda, $1500 in Rwanda, and $400 in Congo.

If you plan to trek during the high season, it’s advisable to buy a gorilla permit 3 or more months in advance.

The best time to trek mountain gorillas is during the dry season of June to September and December to February when the roads to the parks are easily accessible.

If you plan to trek during the wet season, you will need to use a four-wheel drive car.

The climate in the Virunga conservation area can be unpredictable, with rain sometimes falling in the dry season.

Therefore, it’s important to pack hiking boots, garden gloves, energy snacks, insect repellents, raincoats, warm clothes, drinking water, and more.

Gorilla FAQs & Information

  1. Why Can’t You Look or Make Eye Contact with a Gorilla?
  2. Why Silverback Gorillas Fight
  3. Importance of Mountain Gorillas
  4. What to do when a gorilla charges on you
  5. What is The Largest Species of Gorillas?
  6. What is a Group of Gorillas Called?
  7. What is the Mountain Gorillas Role in The Ecosystem?
  8. The Mountain Gorilla Defense Mechanism
  9. How to Provoke/Annoy a Gorilla
  10. How Gorillas Greet Each Other
  11. Do All Gorillas Become Silverbacks?
  12. Do Gorillas like Humans
  13. Do gorillas Eat of Kill Their Babies?
  14. Do Gorillas Eat Humans?
  15. Can you Tame a Gorilla
  16. Can you Own a Gorilla?
  17. Do Mountain Gorillas live in Families & Groups?
  18. How to Protect & Save Mountain Gorillas
  19. Why Gorillas Are So Strong
  20. How Many Humans Does it Take to Beat a Gorilla?
  21. How do you call a Baby Gorilla?
  22. How Do Gorillas Sleep?
  23. How Mountain Gorillas Communicate
  24. The Gorilla Life Cycle
  25. Do Gorillas drink water?
  26. Are Gorillas friendly & gentle to humans?
  27. Why do Apes, Gorillas beat their chest & sound hollow?
  28. Gorilla Threats: Why Mountain Gorillas were endangered?
  29. Why were Mountain Gorillas going extinct?
  30. What is a Silverback Gorilla?
  31. Gorilla Species: Different Kinds/Types of Gorilla & Breeds
  32. Mountain Gorilla Diet
  33. Mountain Gorilla Size, Average Height & Weight Measurements
  34. Natural Mountain Gorilla Predators
  35. Mountain Gorilla Population
  36. Lifespan of Mountain Gorillas
  37. Mountain Gorilla Natural Habitat
  38. Mountain Gorilla Conservation Efforts
  39. Mountain Gorilla Behavior
  40. How to Survive a Gorilla Attack on Humans
  41. Are Gorillas Dangerous to the People
  42. Why are Gorillas Poached in Africa
  43. How Gorillas Adapt to Rain-forest Environment
  44. Interesting Facts about Mountain Gorillas in Africa
  45. How Strong is a Silverback Gorilla?
  46. Best Place to See Mountain Gorillas in Africa
  47. Uganda Gorilla Families
  48. Rwanda Gorilla Families
  49. Congo Gorilla Families

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