Mountain gorillas are one of the four subspecies of the gorilla and with their increasing numbers, they are becoming popular to see. The mountain gorillas are giant apes worth knowing about as their population is remaining small and listed as endangered. Here are the facts to learn about mountain gorillas from structure to diet and character.
How do Mountain Gorillas Look Like?
Mountain Gorillas have a stocky build with a broad chest, long muscular arms, and wide feet and hands. Mountain Gorilla arms are longer than their legs and they move by what is known as knuckle-walking. Silverback gorillas are around six feet tall, weigh about 350 pounds.
Mountain gorillas are vegetarian animals that eat vegetables. These mainly include stems, leaves, bamboo shoots, pith, roots, moth, fruits, and grubs.
Of their diet, fruits make 25%. Aside from vegetation, at times mountain gorillas supplement their diet with termites that they get by breaking termite nests to eat larva, ants, and insects.
With the consumption of vegetables, the range of plants or vegetation eaten by gorillas adds up to 250 plant species.
Of these plant species, the gorillas are fond of eating high sugar foods and rather low fiber foods that contain tannins with protein and sugar.
On rare occasions, mountain gorillas eat ash and soil and this is to regulate their digestive system. The Mountain gorilla diet according to Sea World is by percentage comprised of 86% leaves, 7% roots, 3% flowers, 2% fruit as well as 2% snails, grubs, and ants.
Are Mountain Gorillas dangerous?
If you are wondering whether gorillas are dangerous, the answer is NO. Africa is popular for lots of fearsome predators including lions, hyenas, and many more but luckily mountain gorillas are not part of them. Mountain gorillas are habituated before they are opened to tourists for trekking.
During habituation, gorillas are taken through a long process where they get familiar with the presence of humans as rangers spend time with the gorillas for about 2 years until the gorillas get unbothered with the presence of people.
After the rangers realize that the gorillas are familiar with humans, other people including researchers and guides are brought to meet the gorillas and if the gorillas pass this test then they are opened up to tourists for trekking.
Do Mountain Gorillas Climb trees?
Mountain Gorillas primarily live on the ground and spend 5-20% of the day in trees. However, gorillas do like to climb trees in order to play or to harvest fruit. Almost always, gorillas climb quadrupedally, and only very rarely do they brachiate or jump from branch to branch. The young gorillas spend more time in trees than adults and like to play there.
Silverback Mountain gorillas do not often move above the ground because of their heavyweight.
Where do mountain gorillas live?
Mountain gorillas can only be seen in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The only way of seeing these gentle giants is by undertaking a Uganda gorilla trekking safaris, a Rwanda gorilla tour, or a Congo gorilla trekking safari. Only about 1063 mountain gorillas are left in the world.
These mountain gorillas facts give a highlight of the existence of the great apes and the need for great conservation efforts to keep these amazing giants.