Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Animal Spotlight: The Gorilla

Native to Rwanda, Uganda, and parts of the Congo, the mountain gorilla is one of the most mesmerizing and delightful creatures to observe in the entire world. Observing a creature believed to be an evolutionary link to man, makes gorilla tracking safaris an extremely unique and rewarding experience. Encountering these intimidating creatures is a once in a lifetime opportunity, that is both rare and adventurous in scope.

Mountain gorillas are an endangered species with only a few hundred still surviving today. According to an article on the Animal Planet website, “The mountain gorillas are the only great apes whose numbers are actually growing. Although this species remains endangered, their numbers have grown from 248 to over 360 individuals in the Virunga Massif in Rwanda alone. The total number of mountain gorillas is estimated to be 700-750 individuals.”

There are several factors, which have led to such a massive decrease in the mountain gorilla population. One factor has been people destroying forests and therefore destroying the habitats of these enormous creatures. Also, poachers sell the mountain gorillas’ meat and fur for commercial purposes.

Shocking Mountain Gorilla Facts:
  • Communicable human diseases have been known to affect the gorilla population. Gorillas can catch the flu, measles, tuberculosis, and other viruses from human contact.

  • Full-grown male adults weigh approximately 500 lbs.

  • When threatened, the mountain gorilla will push off the ground, balance on its back legs, and pound its chest.

  • Mountain gorillas are classified mainly as herbivorous, but have been known to eat small animals.

  • Wild mountain gorillas usually live to be around 35 years-old.

  • Species of gorilla include the western lowland gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas, and the mountain gorillas.

Seeing a gorilla in the wild is difficult to describe. You can feel the adrenaline pump through your veins as they rise from the ground with a grunt and pound the ground as they walk through the forest. If you’re ready to experience the enchanting adventure of gorilla tracking on an African family safari or honeymoon safari, contact Hills of Africa Travel today at (877) 845-4802. Our expert team is dedicated to creating the perfect itinerary, tailored to each client’s personal preferences.

No comments: