Gorillas are one of the most adorable wildlife in the World, according to many travelers that have gotten the chance to meet face-to-face with them. This is because these primates are only found in dense rain forests throughout the African Continent and live some of the most exciting human-like lifestyles. Are you prepared to learn about these amazing Primates? Then go through our five interesting facts about Gorillas;
There are currently only two Gorilla Species and they are named Eastern and Western Gorillas. Interestingly, each of these two gorilla species is categorized into two sub-species. The Cross River (Gorilla gorilla diehli) and western lowland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is part of the Western Gorillas, while mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beriengei) and the Eastern Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla beriengei graueri) are sub-species of the Eastern Gorillas.
Mountain Gorillas, about 1063 in number occupy the Albertine Rift montane forests within altitudes ranging from 2500 to 4000 meters above sea level. You can see them on a gorilla safari in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Eastern lowland gorillas are only found in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo with a population of about 5000 individuals.
The Western lowland gorillas are so far the most populous with about 300,000 individuals living in the Central African Republic, Angola, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea.
With a population of only 250-300 individuals, the Cross River Gorillas are the least populous and so far the rarest/most difficult to see. They occupy the mountains, highlands, lowland montane forests, and rain forests along the border of Nigeria and Cameroon.
Gorillas are social beings that live in families/Groups
Gorillas are generally social beings that live in groups/families of 5-30 individuals, with one dominant silverback (sometimes with subordinate silverbacks), adult females, infants, blackbacks, and juveniles. These creatures spend a lot of time moving around their natural habitat with day-to-day activities including foraging, resting, nursing offspring, grooming each other, and copulating. When these primates get older, the majority of the males and about 80% of the females leave their natal groups to join other groups hence limiting cases.
Gorillas share over 98% of their DNA with humans
Gorillas are surprisingly related to humans, sharing 98% of their DNA and this makes them vulnerable to human diseases (communicable diseases such as flu, colds, Covid-19, cough, and even measles) and these diseases are unfortunately very detrimental to these Giant Apes. Considering the fact that these primates can learn sign language, use tools and express emotions, they are so interesting to track and learn about. Gorillas have been sighted using sticks to check the depth of rivers and streams before crossing, using bamboo for making ladders and cracking but with stone.
Gorilla nose prints are unique
Just like human fingerprints are unique, gorilla nose prints are also unique to each individual, hence they are the identifiers of each gorilla being studied by scientists. These Giant Apes might look similar in size, facial structures, body, or behavior but no two individuals have the same nose prints with an exceptional pattern of wrinkles above their nostrils.
Gorillas are threatened
Western lowland and the Cross River Gorillas are critically endangered, mountain gorillas are endangered and the Eastern lowland Gorillas are critically endangered. These primates’ biggest threats are habitat destruction as areas around forests are being converted for agriculture hence limiting their safe places to live. Additionally, Gorillas are threatened by the high rate of poaching, and political instabilities/civil wars, especially in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo which affects the Eastern lowland and mountain gorillas. Another threat to the survival of these creatures is diseases, especially Ebola.