Gorillas are very much related to humans. About 97.8 % of their DNA is scientifically similar to that of humans. Mountain Gorillas among the 4 great ape species living in African rainforests, they are the largest; a mature silverback male can weigh up to 600 pounds.
Besides the identical DNA between humans and gorillas, ecological and social research shows that both wild and habituated gorillas live and maintain their distinct social groups /families.
Gorillas in the wild, a family can have a minimum number of 2 individuals (male and female) while the highest gorilla family size can have more than 30 individuals.
You’ll find among females, juveniles and infants led by 1 Silverback which commands all activities like feeding, relaxing and sleeping and moving within a habitat range. Silverbacks normally defend particular habitat ranges and when groups meet, often fight or ignore each other.
Sometimes a single group may have more than 2 silverbacks, though they tend to be aggressive towards one. In some cases, silverbacks often fight until the strongest silverback takes control of its family. When young males mature, they often go off and create their own families.
Facts about mountain gorillas are countless, but the most important each individual gorilla has unique finger prints on its human like large hands. Gorillas also have human like senses including hearing, seeing, smelling, touching and feeling. Precisely in their nature, these apes are peaceful animals that never kill for fodder.
Unlike habituated, wild gorilla families when encountered often shy away, charge or become aggressively when threatened. Even, in the forest like Bwindi which has more than 36 gorilla families according to Uganda wildlife authority statistics, solitary males have been encountered occasionally by trackers.
In a bonded gorilla family, females often groom their young ones and show affection for one another including communicating through distinct sounds, gestures and postures like hugging.
Baby gorillas often feed and keep around a silverback because it’s their father, strength and protection in case of danger. Adult females often fold their mouth when it time for mating and stay around the silverback waiting for response.
Mountain gorillas are wild animals but are suited for habituation, a process through which wild gorillas are tracked by researchers day by day and year to year imitating their behavior such as chewing on vegetation to make them accustomed to human presence. However, the process doesn’t change the natural behavior of gorillas but it’s intended to ease tourist encounter.
Gorillas can climb up in trees but spend most of their time on ground feeding selectively choosing flesh edible plant leaves, bamboo shots, pulps, stems, tree barks, fruits and sometimes on ants and termites. They rest for 2-3 hours a day consuming about 35 kg of vegetation.
As the night approaches, a silverback looks for a suitable place as its family gets together making nests for sleeping. Each gorilla makes its own nest except for infants who sleep with their mothers. Then the next day early morning, a silverback leads its family to a new source of flesh vegetation from which tourists often encounter them on guided trek with experienced guides and trackers.
Would you like to meet the gorillas in the wild? You can book a gorilla safari in Uganda. On a guided gorilla safari in Africa, you can come to face to face with the endangered gorillas.