Mountain gorillas are an endangered great ape species found in the Virunga mountain ranges of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda, with half of them found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
Just about 900 mountain gorillas remain in the wild; these rare apes share 98 percent of their DNA with humans, making them mankind’s closest relatives.
Mountain gorillas can be found at elevations ranging from 8000 to 13000 feet.
Plants, fruits, wild celery, bamboo shoots, thistles, and nettles are among the foods eaten by mountain gorillas.
Silverback gorillas get their name from the silverback hair that begins to grow on their backs about the age of 11 years.
Silverback gorillas stand about 4-6 feet tall; the tallest silverback recorded was 1.95 cm tall, with a 2.8-meter arm span and a 1.98-meter chest.
Silverback gorillas can weigh anywhere between 135 and 220 kilograms.
The heaviest silverback ever recorded weighed 267 kilograms and was shot in Cameroon’s Ambam.
The musculature and skeleton of gorillas are more resilient than humans, allowing them to take much more trauma before being seriously injured. A gorilla can reach speeds of 23 to 25 mph.
A gorilla’s strength ranges from 6 to 15 times that of a human.
Silverback gorillas are the world’s largest primates, with paws that are usually longer than their bodies.
Male adult mountain gorillas weigh between 374 and 484 pounds, while females weigh between 160 and 215 pounds.
The best time to see the endangered mountain gorillas is during the dry season, which runs from June to September and December to February when the trekking trails are easier to reach and flooding is less likely.
In Uganda, mountain gorilla trekking costs USD 700, while in Rwanda, it costs USD 1500.
Just eight individuals are permitted to trek a group of mountain gorillas in a single day, and the primates are only allowed to be observed for one hour from the moment they are discovered.