Can Gorillas Swim?

Gorillas cannot swim and for that reason they keep on avoiding large water bodies like lakes and rivers unlike other animals that like to play with water. In search of food they sometimes wade through swamps on two legs with the water reaching up to their waist.

If gorillas are surprised by a rain shower, they simply stay motionless and wait for the rain to stop. If there is a cave or a similar shelter close by, they will sit underneath, but they will never use large leaves or branches to cover themselves.

Do Gorillas Climb Trees?

Gorillas are can climb trees. However given their weight, they always stay on the ground. There have been several accidents where gorillas fell off the trees. The most recent incident is when a silverback in Bwindi Impenetrable fell off the tree and died.

Gorillas Are Ground Dwellers

Gorillas mainly live on the ground. They spend only 5-20% of the day in trees, whereas chimpanzees spend 47-61% of the day above the ground. But gorillas do like to climb in order to play or to harvest fruit. Almost always they climb quad-rupedally and it is very rare for them to jump from branch to branch. Young gorillas spend more time than adults in trees and like to play form there. Silverback males do not often move above the ground because of their weight although they will climb high into fruiting trees if the branches can carry their weight. There is more movement if there is scarcity of food, it may be hard to easily spot the gorillas. Again during the rainy season, the mountain gorillas are domant with less activity to do. The gorillas move from one place to another looking for food, sometimes plants and trees change with the weather. Adult mountain gorillas feed on about 60 pounds of vegetation daily.

Primarily, gorillas dwell on ground and can only spend 5 – 20% of their daytime in trees in contrast to their primate counterparts – Chimpanzees which spend 47 – 67% of their time in trees. They tend to climb to take advantage of fruits or play around in the tree branches. Gorillas tend to climb quad-rupedally and they rarely jump from branch to branch.

Do Gorillas Cry?

Among animals, it is virtually impossible to tell if their tears are the result of emotions or merely caused by eye irritation. Most scientists agree, however, that humans are the only animals who produce emotional tears.

While animals may not weep like humans, they do, however, emit cries which seem to indicate emotional distress. Baby animals of all kinds will vocalize when separated from their mothers. Baby elephants in particular produce a very sad keening sound which sounds like weeping. Hunters and some wildlife experts have claimed that the sound of a bear cub cries when separated from its mother is remarkably similar to the cries of a human baby.

In these cases, the cries probably serve as a form of direct communication with the mother. This is done daily among the mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains. They leave their sleeping places when the sun rises early in the morning with the exceptional when it is cold when they often stay longer in their nests.

It should be noted that gorillas show sorrowness incase a family dies. This has been observed in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. According to the local guides, in case a member dies, the group can stay in the same location for about a week.

How Do Gorillas Fight?

Male gorillas are very dangerous when they are in the fighting mood. This is due to their sharp canines and great strength. Gorillas are famous for their display behavior culminating in the chest beating and loud hooting. Most differences of opinion are not resolved by fighting, but by displaying and other threat behaviour patterns, without anyone getting injured. The chest beat sounds especially impressive in silverback males.  However, severe aggression is rare in stable gorilla groups, but when two groups meet, the leading silverbacks can sometimes engage in a fight to the death, mainly using their sharp canines to cause deep, gaping injuries.

The entire sequence has nine steps that is; progressively quickening hooting, symbolic feeding,  rising bipedally, throwing vegetation,  chest-beating with cupped hands, one leg kick, sideways running, two-legged to four-legged, slapping and tearing vegetation, and thumping the ground with palms to end display.

According to Fletcher 2001, Weaning conflict is minimized in gorillas compared to other great apes simply because of the cohesive nature of gorilla groups. The constant availability of play partners including the silverback may contribute to less intense conflict between mother and infant during this period.

Man Vs Gorillas – Who is Stronger?

Unless the gorilla is drugged and lamed, or the human fighter is fully armed especially with something like a spear or with a gun that can hold the gorilla off at a distance, the gorilla will kill the human. This means that the Gorillas are stronger than man. This is simply because a male gorilla significantly outweighs most professional fighters.

In addition to the above, the male’s center of gravity is closer to the ground. Wrestlers will appreciate the huge advantage involved erect bipedality is a serious liability here. As if that is not enough a gorilla being a wild animal will throw 100 percent of his available resources into the fight from the very start. Unlike humans however much they are professional fighters or soldiers unless they are in such a state of psychosis that they might as well also be wild animals.

Despite the fact that the gorillas’ fighting responses are instinctual, not trained, they will be faster than humans’ thus being stronger than man. On top of all, the gorillas’ musculature and skeleton are considerably more robust than the human’s meaning that the gorilla will soak up much more punishment before being seriously injured thus making the human fighter hoping to win but later on the gorilla will close with human and knock him off his feet.

A gorilla can reach speeds of 20 mph to 25 mph. In comparison, Usain Bolt’s record in the 100 -meter dash roughly translates into 23 mph. Even though you were Usain Bolt, there’s still a chance of not defeating a gorilla, and this assumes the fight takes place on a race track and not in a forest, where running speed isn’t much of an issue. So now, you have got a gorilla that most likely can catch up to all but the most elite sprinters on the planet.

In conclusion therefore, the average gorilla is approximately 6 to 15 times as strong. All those techniques that we rely on to defeat stronger opponents aren’t going to be enough to overcome that much strength animal. The gorillas will end up by defeating the human.

How Do Gorillas Spend a Day?

When are gorillas most active? what gorillas do for fun, Do gorillas play?

Mountain gorillas live in families just similar to humans, with a dominant silverback male. Humans can access these endangered giants after they have gone through a program called habituation which takes at least 2 years. About 28 gorilla families have been habituated for research and tourism. Tourists can visit the gorillas through an activity known as gorilla tracking or trekking. It is called gorilla tracking because you walk in the tracks of the mountain gorillas as you search for them through the forests. It is also called trekking because you trek through forested highlands to find the gorillas. Basically you follow where the gorillas spent the previous night to find them that day.

Although mountain gorillas are gentle giants, they are shy and reserved. A typical day for a gorilla family includes playing, caring for their young and foraging in the jungle for bamboo and other greens. Despite their massive size, they move thoughtfully and carefully. Travelers who have been on a gorilla trek describe having an almost human connection to the primates, which is no surprise, considering that they share 98% of our DNA.

Gorilla Trekking Contributing to Survival of Mountain Gorillas

It takes a day or a few hours to travel to the Bwindi Impenetrable National park and the Virunga massif area, the region for mountain gorillas shared by Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. You know tracking mountain gorillas in Africa has never been easy in one way or the other.  Gorilla permits are scarce and costly backed up by steep demand all year in all .However, the effort of saving mountain gorillas in the wild jungle forests has been challenging from back then ever since when conservation started. Apart  from insecurity, being wild animals that roam in the jungle in search for eats, it’s very easy to land into traps of poachers’, diseases, ilega gorilla trade and encroachment of forest lands forcing gorillas to constantly migrate (Human conflict) that have been the major threats for the giants apes  ever since.

Due to conservation a several theats have been addressed in order to save the mountain gorilla population in Africa. The mountain gorilla census data says over 880 mountain gorillas are found on earth in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and and the Virunga Massif (comprised of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, and Parc National de Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo).Dainy Fossey is one of the famous conservationist who died at work saving forest creatures and her effort is remembered and celebrated in Rwanda gorilla tourism in volcanoes national park. Mountain gorilla tourism  is a major income generating project that needs much more a tension and the big thanks goes to all gorilla conservation organizations, governments, communities and tourists who respect the rules and regulations for all gorilla tracking parks.

The Park Communities

However, I think the park communities  both within and outside the park have done so much  to save the lives of mountain gorillas  and without them gorilla tourism would be at stake .Imagine a situation where one surrenders her ancestral home and accept to leave  in a new environment (Pygmy people of Bwindi forest).The people living around Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Bwindi-Mghainga  in Uganda and Virunga national park also  they sacrificed their source of income for gorilla tourism  devised other sources of firewood, food, water and shelter, and medicine. By so doing this the human conflicts activities that could hinder mountain gorilla lives where reduced.

Gorilla Rules and Regulations

The dos and don’ts of gorilla tracking are the other ways mountain gorillas have been able to survive threats like diseases and stress. A limited number of eight tourists per a gorilla group per day, standing in a 5-7 meter distance, no  tracking gorillas if you have contagious diseases like flue and cough, no touching gorillas, no eating and drinking in front of gorillas   etc this protects them from many human diseases that affect their lives. Above all mountain gorilla parks have lauded the birth of various baby gorillas and celebrations of baby gorilla naming ceremonies which all a result of conservation and other factors.

Discounted Gorilla Permits Attract More Tourists to Uganda

Every year Uganda discounts gorilla permits in April, May and November a thing that attract hundreds to the country to fulfill their travel dream at affordable rates. Even when you miss the offer at the beginning of year, you can still catch up with it in November as the year’s wave’s good bye. It’s just a matter of planning well and reserves your gorilla permit in good time.Oh look November is around the corner for whoever missed to track mountain gorillas on budget in either Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Uganda is a rich tourism heritage country with a lot to see and experience but mountain gorillas are the country’s prime tourist attraction that draws many to the country every year. When you visit Uganda and you don’t see gorillas, your visit is regarded incomplete because it has no trip to Bwindi impenetrable forest or Mgahinga National Park-the two mountain gorilla parks in the country.

Did you know gorilla tourism in Uganda contributes big to the country’s economy and its spear heads development in many areas. According to Justice Tibesigwa the park conservation manager for Bwindi forest and Mgahinga national park area, both national parks sell around 18000 gorilla permits annually   at a cost of $600 a price for foreign travelers in respect of conservation and natural beauty and the Uganda Wildlife Authority supports multiple community projects with shs 900million annually .Therefore gorilla tourism benefits both the government and the people.

Initially travelers could look at April May and November as low season months  of the year but today it’s very hard to tell whether its low or high season  in Uganda because the demand for gorilla tourism is the same. Tourists book gorillas permits normally in April, May and November because they can save big and still enjoy their gorilla safari experience just like those who visit the country in June- October and December –March. Gorilla tracking in Uganda is all year so no matter when you visit the country, the wonderful memorable experience is all you should expect.

Discounted Gorilla Permits

Today Uganda Discounted gorilla permits cost $450 a price that allows travelers to save big for other safari essentials like transport and accommodation. Besides the saving can also clear something on your next vacation either with in Uganda or in other places of your interest. April, May and November are the best times to track mountain gorillas in Uganda on budget and a perfect time for affordable gorilla safari tours in Africa. Be among those who contribute to the development of many local community projects as well as mountain gorilla conservation in Africa that is if you love nature and primates. There are many other activities to enjoy while on a Uganda gorilla safari tour  and they include golden monkey trekking, volcano hiking, Batwa Trail tour, cultural tour, nature walk, bird watching and many more. The recent data of mountain gorilla census indicate that Bwindi –Mgahinga areas have half of the world living population of mountain gorillas which is all in Uganda so this makes all Uganda gorilla safaris very exceptional and outstanding. Still the results attract more tourists on addition to discounted gorilla permits.

Dian Fossey, the Iron Lady Who Saved the Mountain Gorillas

Come face  to  face  with  mountain  gorillas! Dive  into  the  life  of  Dian  Fossey  on a gorilla safari in Africa and meet  her  ‘’Gorillas in the Mist’’

The  rough  Virunga  Mountains  are  the  beating  heart  of  Africa. Researcher  Dian  Fossey  an  American  Zoologist  primatologist  and  anthropologist  undertook  an  extensive  study  of  mountain  gorilla  groups  over  a period  of  18 years  drew  attention  to  the  poachers  that  were  hunting  the  mountain  gorillas  in  the  virunga  massifs  was  killed  trying  to  protect  the  elusive  gorillas. In  1967, she  made  the  mountain  slopes  of  the  Visoke  volcano  her  home, to  study  the  animals  more  closely. She  Gained  the  trust  of  animals  as  she  copied  the  way  they  eat  plants, the  way  they scratch  themselves  and  she  also  pounds  her  chest  and  burps  just  like  the gorillas.

Dian  Fossey  made  discoveries  about  gorillas  including  how  females  transfer  from  group  to  group  over  the  decades, gorilla vocalization  hierarchies  and  social  relationships  among  groups, rare  intanticide, gorilla  diet, and  how  gorillas  recycle  nutrients. After  3years  she  stuck  out  her  hand  to  a  gorilla  and  the  animal  touched  her  fingers  with  his  placing  her  own  life  at  risk, Fossey  publically  addressed  the  problems  of  continuous  poaching  and  thanks  to  her  work, an  international  project  to  benefit  the  mountain  gorilla  was  set up. Its  goals  were  to  gain  more  insight  into  the  gorillas  and  to  stimulate  tourism. This  was  supposed  to  create  jobs  and  reduce  poaching. Fossey  did  not  agree  with  such  an  idea. She  believed  in  more  patrols  that  had  the  authority  to  shoot  at  poachers. Such  an  idea  created  hatred  within  poachers  and  therefore  she  was  not  very  well  liked. Her  murder  on  26th December  1985  remains  a  mystery  and  there  are  several  theories  about  her  death. One  is  that  former  governor  protais  Zigiranyirazo  ordered  to  have  her  killed , another  idea  is  that  poachers  were  behind  her  murder. The  greater  public  discovered  her  unique  work  through  the  motion  picture ‘’gorillas   in  the  mist’’. Her  1983  book,  ‘’Gorillas  in  the  Mist’’ combines  her  scientific  study  of  the  gorillas  at  Karisoke Research  Centre  with  her  own  personal  story. It  was  adopted  into  a  1988  film  of  the  same  name. Fossey  was  murdered  in  1985.

It  was  from  a  small  hut  in  Rwanda  that  researcher  and  conservationist  Dian  Fossey observed  that  while  gorillas  may  sometimes  act  tough, they  are  really  gentle  giants. Fossey  is  one  of  the  most  famous  scientists  in  the  world, but  the  path  to  greatness  was  a  meandering  one. Fossey’s  research  was  funded  by  the  Wilkie  Foundation  and  the  Leakey  Home, with  primary  funding from  the  National  Geographical  society.  By  1980, Fossey  who  had  obtained  her  PHD at  Cambridge  university  in  the  UK was   recognized  as  the  worlds  leading  authority  on  the  physiology  and  behavior  of  mountain  gorillas, defining  gorillas  as  being  dignified , highly  social , gentle  giants, with  individual  personalities, and  strong  family  relationships.

Dian  Fossey  lectured  as  professor  at Cornel  university  in  1981-83. Her  best  selling  book  ‘’Gorillas in  the  Mist’’ was  praised  by  Nikolaas  Tinbergen,  the  Dutch  ethologist  and  ornithologist  who  won  the  1973  Nobel  prize  in  physiologist  or  Medicine. Her  book  remains  the  best  selling  book  about  gorillas.

Fossey  was  buried  at  Karisoke  in  a  site  that  she  herself  had  constructed  for  her  deceased  gorilla friends. She  was  buried  in  the  gorilla  graveyard  next  to Digit  and  near  many  gorillas  killed  by  poachers . Memorial  services  were  also held  in  New york, Washington  and  California.

Are Mountain Gorillas Endangered?

Mountain gorillas are known as critically endangered on the IUCN red list of the endangered species. In the current days, the mountain gorillas are also much threatened not only to the demand for their meat or the infants, but also a high demand for the lush forest with in which they live. Also for the poor communities that live around the gorilla habitants, it’s the forest that gives them many of their basic human needs and in the war torn areas of DRC. The needs are exaggerated.

Gorilla conservation is also the first conservation option in Uganda as well as Rwanda. Gorilla tourism has greatly helped in carrying the mountain gorilla population back from death and also scares to their survival that are still very real.  The biggest threat to the mountain gorillas come from the humans, the illegal logging of the rain forest intrusion of the land for farming, poaching and the risk of transmitting the diseases by the humans. More so, political instability is another factor that affects the Congolese population of the mountain gorillas with in DRC region of the Virunga Volcanoes.

The active conservation also includes going out into the forest , on foot  or day after day as you try to get the poachers, killing the poachers ‘dogs which spread rabies in the park and also cutting down the traps. The population of mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC has increased from low census record of 245 in 1981 to the estimated 880 individuals on 2013. Rangers have also continued to protect the gorillas. Poaching of the mountain gorillas is very rare and the poachers will become caught as they try to kill the animals.

There is also the KwitaIzina which is the annual naming ceremony that is so interesting for visiting volcanoes National park. It’s a celebration of Rwanda’s progress in gorilla conservation and the challenges these animals face endlessly. In case you trek to view the mountain gorillas, you may be also interested in knowing that each and every gorilla permit fee goes to the communities that live around the national parks. The benefits of this are so many including; the local communities receiving a physical benefit from tourism in remote parts of the country where there are a few employment opportunities. This direct financial incentive will encourage the local people in supporting tourism. Entering the national park is also controlled. Before the national parks were gazetted, the people entered the forest in order to collect firewood, set snares and hunt and also burn charcoal. More so the promotion of farming outside the protected areas as well as the development of the other alternatives to charcoal are some of the projects that conservation organizations have promoted in the local opportunities.

The elimination of the Batwa people from the park was also another step that these authorities took in the 1990s, when the population of the gorillas faced with extinction. The batwa culture and their way of life are so unique and visiting and supporting these people projects, you can be contributing to the gorilla conservation.

In the past years, many of the people from all over the world dedicated their lives to the conservation of the mountain gorillas. And in 1885, American primatologist Dian Fossey was found dead in her own home with in volcanoes National park and she is believed to have been murdered by one of the poachers she fought in her protection of the gorillas. The mountain gorillas are protected than ever, and their numbers are increasing slowly and each year. The rangers have put their lives in danger in order to protect these gorillas.