The mountain gorilla is easily one of the most majestic of all the great apes; it’s also one of the most well known primates. Mountain gorillas are an endangered species with just over 1000 remaining in the world, however with the conservation efforts put forth the population of these incredible primates is rising – this is very promising news.
The mountain gorilla lives in the African countries of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They stand 4 to 6 feet tall and weigh up to 485 pounds. In the wild they can live to be 40 to 50 years of age, though the latter is less common. Their diet consists of roots, shoots, fruit, wild celery, tree bark and pulp. Mountain gorillas rarely need to drink as water is plentiful in the vegetation they consume. The mountain gorilla has a much thicker coat than other primates to allow them to survive in temperatures that can drop below freezing.
Female mountain gorillas have a gestation period of 8.5 months and infants develop twice as quickly as humans do! Mountain gorillas share 98.3% of their DNA with humans.
Mountain gorillas face threats such as deforestation, snares which are set out to catch other animals for bushmeat, climate change and human disease.
Mountain gorillas have adapted to the presence of humans owing to the many tourists that visit them throughout the year. Tours are often used to educate the public about these magnificent apes. If going to Africa to see the mountain gorillas, it’s important to use a well-known, reputable tour company, (such as the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund) to ensure the money earned through ticket sales goes back into conservation efforts for the mountain gorilla.
With ongoing conservation efforts we can continue to see the population of the mountain gorilla rise. You can help the mountain gorilla by donating to conservation efforts, symbolically adopting a gorilla, spreading the word by sharing this article and even by visiting the gorillas in the African jungles.