What do Mountain gorillas eat?

Wondering what do mountain gorillas eat?, Mountain gorillas are one of the subspecies of gorillas that is known not to survive under captivity or in zoos, this is partly because of their diet. However, what is this complex diet that does not let mountain gorillas survive in the zoo, how much do they eat, what is comprised in their diet, where is their food found and for how many hours do the mountain gorillas spend eating. Here is a guide and answers to all of these questions;

What is in the diet of Mountain Gorillas?

To start with, mountain gorillas are vegetarian animals that eat vegetables. These mainly include stems, leaves, bamboo shoot, 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 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. However, even with the fact that they consume more of high sugar foods this is not based on diet selection but rather food availability.

In 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.

The other fact about gorilla feeding is that due to the high consumption of vegetation, mountain gorillas rarely drink water.

Where do Mountain gorillas get their food from?

Mountain gorillas are known to live in their natural habitats and for Uganda gorilla safaris they are found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as well as Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Virunga National Park and Volcanoes National Park inhabit the mountain gorillas in Congo and Rwanda respectively. These habitats are dense forests with thick a fro montane vegetation that caters for the mountain gorilla diet. The parks are highly protected by the different country authorities to ensure that the forests are not destroyed by deforestation and therefore remain a favorable habitat for these elusive giants.

What amount of vegetation does a gorilla consume in a day?

It is really not easy to state the exact amount consumed by a gorilla in a single day however, it is estimated that in a single day, an adult male gorilla can consume up to 30 kilograms of vegetation whereas an adult female can consume up to 18 kilograms.  To attain this amount of vegetation in a day, the gorillas move for almost 3-6 kilometers to forage within the forest.

How many hours a day does a gorilla spend eating?

With this high level of consumption, one can wonder how many hours it takes for a mountain gorilla to satisfy its diet. It is believed that 30% of their time of the day is spent in foraging for food. The gorillas spend most of their time on the move to eat on the different plant species. The movement of mountain gorillas in search of food is what calls in for gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda because you move as the gorillas move until you get to meet them.

Getting to know of the mountain gorilla diet, it is much better to be part of their conservation and keep them in a habitat that supports their survival.  If you need to go gorilla trekking and have an experience of your own, contact us at Acacia Safaris Uganda for all details and forms of bookings.

Uganda gorilla safari packages

To help you better plan your gorilla trekking safari, here is a list of top gorilla packages in Uganda and Rwanda that you can choose from;

3 days gorilla safari Uganda 

12 days jungle safari Uganda 

7 days great primates Uganda safari 

9 days Uganda wildlife tour 

14 days Uganda safari Eco-explorer 

18 days best of Uganda safari