Mountain Gorillas in Congo; Facts, Habitat, Characteristics
Mountain Gorillas in Congo; Facts, Habitat, Characteristics, and Behavior. Virunga National Park in eastern Congo is home to some of the world’s last mountain gorillas. Neighboring Rwanda and Uganda also have some mountain gorillas and together their population is more than 1,000.
The exploitation of the resource-rich Virunga mountains, where around one-third of the world’s mountain gorillas reside, poses a threat to the species’ survival. The ultimate treasure of the Congo is this majestic giant ape, which is both less common and more beautiful than oil or gold.
Mountain Gorilla Facts in Congo
Mountain Gorilla Habitat
Over one-third of the estimated 1,000 remaining mountain gorillas live in the protected forests of Virunga National Park. Compared to their eastern lowland cousins, mountain gorillas have thick hair, an adaptation that protects them against the sub-zero temperatures often encountered at altitudes of 7 – 14,000 ft.
Mountain Gorilla Behavior
Like most primates, mountain gorillas are social animals. They live in groups of fascinating complexity called troops or bands, led by a dominant alpha male known as a silverback. The silverback protects its members and directs troop activities such as nesting, feeding, and migration between seasonal feeding areas.
Mountain Gorilla Physical Characteristics
After nearly nine months of gestation, infants enter the world weighing only four pounds. From four months they begin clinging to their mothers’ backs, remaining there for two or three years. Despite beginning life so small, adult males typically weigh 430 pounds and can stand five feet tall.