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Mountain Gorillas

Mountain gorillas (eastern gorillas) are found in two isolated groups. One group is the Virunga region which is mark a border of three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The second group is found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is located in the south western part of Uganda.

The world population of mountain gorillas has increased to 880 individuals according to the census data released by the Uganda wildlife authority in 2010. A mountain gorilla has thick and longer fur and shorter arms than other gorilla species which enables them to live in high altitude areas. Mountain gorillas have long silky black coats with hairless face, palms, soles and chest.

They are remarkably strong with a broad chest and shoulders. They are also bigger than other species. Males weigh around 195kg and females weigh around 100kg. Females have a gestation period of 8.5months. They live in highland tropical forests of Africa and stay in altitudes ranging between 8000 and 1000 feet. Mountain gorillas live in groups of up to 30 individuals.

The group, or troop, is led by a single alpha male, an older silverback. These males are called silverbacks because of the silver stripe they develop on their backs when they mature. The oldest males of the group are at least 12 years old.

These troops also include several younger males, adult and juvenile females, and infants. In addition to providing protection to group members, silverbacks maintain order and decide all activities within their troop. They schedule feeding trips, resting time, and travel.

They also father the majority of the young in the group. Threats The biggest threats to these great apes come from deforestation and the growing human population around the area, diseases, and wars and civil unrest. Gorillas are not commonly poached but they always fall in traps meant for other animals.