The endangered mountain gorillas of Uganda are found in two places and these are Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. In the neighborhood, there is volcanoes national park which is found in the republic of Rwanda. Remember, the parks in Uganda are part of the Virunga chain. This chain stretches into the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
Usually, these mountain gorillas live in very dense vegetation. They live at the bottom of the mountains which become more sparse at a higher elevations. These forests where the mountain gorillas live are very cloudy. Not only are they cloud but also very misty and very cold. These apes are purely herbivorous animals and this means that their diet is composed of the leaves, shoots and stems of plant species. These apes also feed on bark and this composes of 6.9 percent of their diet. The roots do compose 3.3 percent of their diet; flowers compose 2.3 percent while the fruit compose of 1.7 percent. Their diet is also composed of small invertebrates and this composes of 0.1 percent. The silver backs which are the male gorillas do eat up to 34 kilograms of the vegetation every day they go to search for food. The females on the other hand eats up to 18 kilograms
Recent research has shown that Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has got the largest number of mountain gorilla population. It is a home of over 400 mountain gorillas. In Bwindi Impenetrable National park, the canopy of the trees make it dark within the forest. The altitude of the forest are between 1,160 to 2,607 meters above sea level.
When in the wilderness searching for what to eat, these gorillas are very aggressive. Their aggression is rare in stable groups though when the mountain gorilla groups do meet, usually the two silverbacks can sometime engage in a fight to death. Their canines cause gaping injuries. Their entire sequence basically has nine steps including, progressively quickening hooting, symbolic feeding, throwing vegetation, chest beating with cupped hands, one leg lick, sideways running, two legged to four legged, slapping and tearing vegetation and thumping the ground. They live in groups that do vary in size from 2 to 30 or 40 but most often in groups of 11 members. These mountain gorillas have got no mating season thus the babies are born all year long. The silver backs which are the male mountain gorillas start breeding at the age of 15 years while the female gorillas give birth from the age of 10 to 12 years old. The female gorillas usually give birth every two to three years and this gives 4 to 6 offsprings during their life span. The silver back do leave their group at about 11 years of age while the little over half of the females will leave their group.
The silverback, male gorilla is the main gorilla in each gorilla group. In a group, this gorilla will determine the movement of the gorilla group and will lead them to an appropriate feeding sites throughout the year. The silverback also mediates any conflicts within the group and protects the gorillas from external threats. In case of any attack by humans, leopards or any other gorilla, it is the silverback that will protect the other gorillas in the group. This male gorilla will be the center of attention at the rest sessions.
These great apes are very strong and powerful. Despite of their being strong, they are gentle and very shy. During the reign of Dian Fossey in Rwanda, she was against the visiting of mountain gorillas as is done today in Uganda.
In conclusion therefore, their enemies of the mountain gorillas are humans. They are also threatened by diseases that humans may bring to the park. This is the reason why Uganda Wildlife Authority has set up strict rules to prevent the spread of diseases.
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