Understanding gorillas and how they live in their natural habitat

There is a lot to discover and learn about the several aspects of gorillas and how they live their daily life in their natural habitat. From feeding and movement to mating and parenting as well as aspects related to size and appearance, the complete knowledge about gorillas seems to be inexhaustible.

Today let’s at some random facts about gorillas in relation to their knowledge, weight, conservation, safety and memory.

Gorillas do learn from one another

Gorillas may not lack speaking abilities possessed by humans to pass on ideas and thoughts to one another but they are still able to learn from one another. It is not easy to understand how gorillas learn but research has shown that this aspect plays an important role in the daily life of gorillas. Researchers have shown that gorillas are even able to learn through imitation which includes copying specific body motions. One of the key areas in which gorillas have mastered knowledge is recognizing snares in their natural habitat. Researchers state that gorillas are able to learn that snares are dangerous even before being caught in one just by watching the reaction of older group members.

How much do gorillas weigh?

Gorillas are the largest and heaviest great apes on the planet and their weight ranges significantly from infancy to adulthood. There is a great deal of sexual dimorphism in gorillas with significant physical differences between male and female gorillas. The weight of male gorillas ranges between 4 to 450 pounds in their lifespan while females weigh almost half as much as their male counterparts once they are fully grown.

How do gorillas react to the presence of humans?

For any gorilla group to be visited by humans, they have to be first taken through the process of habituation which aims at making them used to the presence of humans. At first, the rangers and trackers identify a wild gorilla family and start visiting it frequently to study its territory and behavior and in the process the animals start getting used to humans gradually. Once the group has been fully habituated, it is opened for tourism and tourists can start visiting it under the guidance of rangers and tour guides. The habituation process helps to eliminate the hostility of gorillas towards humans which is evidenced by their calm nature during the visits. Gorillas are generally harmless to humans and they remain in this state throughout the visit unless they are provoked through continuous eye-contact, physical threats and interfering with their infants.

Do gorillas have predators?

Gorillas don’t have may predators in the wild compared to other animals although leopards can sometimes attack them but not as frequent as they do to other primates like chimpanzees. Their large size and cohesive social groups help to reduce the threat from leopards. That said, the biggest threat and largest predator to gorillas remain to be humans unfortunately! Humans poach gorillas for food and lay snares in their habitat to catch other animals which end up injuring and sometimes killing gorillas themselves. Gorillas are also victims of other human activities like deforestation, mining, land degradation which end up affecting gorillas through climate change and habitat loss.

Which country offers the best gorilla trekking experience?

There are gorilla trekking safaris in all the 3 countries where mountain gorillas are found and that is Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The experience of trekking of trekking gorillas almost feels the same in all the 3 countries. However, variations in the price of gorilla permits, accommodation, infrastructural development, security and distance traveled determine the level of satisfaction trekkers may get after the experience. Rwanda ticks all boxes when it comes to good infrastructure like roads, good accommodation and short distance travelled from the capital to the gorilla trekking destination but the country’s gorilla permit is the most expensive at $1,500 per person.