Did you know that gorillas are the largest of the apes, the males reaching a height of 5 to 6 ft with a 9-ft arm spread, weighing about 200 kg in the wild were as in zoos they become obese and may reach up to 270 kg or more. They have features that are less developed in females like the prominent sagital crests, brow ridges and large canine teeth; The Females are smaller than males, weigh about half as much, and don’t develop the gray hair on their backs leaving this characteristic to the sexually mature male.
The older males are called silverbacks, and these are the dominant males who usually lead stable harem societies of 2 to 30 females leaving the juvenile males in the daily search for food. These gentle creatures normally walk on all fours, resting their upper body on their knuckles. They survive on a variety of vines, leaves, fruit, roots, and bark which makes them all vegetarians.
However the mountain gorillas eat wild celery, bamboo shoots, nettles, thistles, and sometimes certain soils or a rare form of fungus. The adolescents and small females are able to climb trees in search of food and to also build arboreal nests for sleeping, leaving the male and the female adults building ground nests daily. These gentle creatures are quiet and retiring in temperament when compared to the excitable chimps, gorillas have been known to attack humans in defense of their family group. But they normally rely on bluffs, roaring and beating their chests to frighten intruders.
Their main enemies are human poachers; in the lowlands, leopards may sometimes eat the young. Females bear one infant about every four years; the child is carried in the mother’s arms and then on her back. Females mature in 8 or 9 years, males in 11 or 12; they may live 40 years or even more as sometimes it all depends on nature.
Interesting Facts about Gorillas in Africa
- Did you know that gorillas are classified as endangered and gorilla trekking is among the top adventure safaris that one should take in a lifetime?
- Gorillas are the most unique creatures. These rare creatures are among the most sought after wildlife that are looked for by travelers to Africa.
- A safari to see the gorillas is commonly referred to as a gorilla safari and it is easy to book one online.
- In order to see the gorillas, every tourist needs a gorilla permit. A gorilla permit cost USD 500 (Uganda), USD 750 (Rwanda) and USD 450 (Congo).