Why Mountain gorillas are Important
Mountain gorillas are one of the sub species of the gorillas and lives in the high cold mountains of Virunga conservation region (Border of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo) and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
The thicker fur species has been forced to live in much colder areas due to encroaching human settlements and in addition to other threats like diseases, poaching, hunting and Civil Wars, these large primates have greatly reduced in number to an endangered state. Though a sad thing, this itself has made the mountain gorilla a very popular animal to the tourists that visit Africa.
Some of the adventurous activities done while visiting mountain gorillas include gorilla trekking at all Volcanoes National parks (Rwanda), Virunga National Park (DRC) and Bwindi impenetrable National Park in Uganda which also offers gorilla safaris and habituation experience.
These are some of the factors that have made the large primates very popular to tourists:
- Mountain gorillas are part of the primate class of animals which is the closest to the human species. More interestingly they share the human DNA up to 98% which is a mind-blowing fact and has attracted a lot of tourists to come see how the closest relative of the human species lives.
- With an endangered tag on them, mountain gorillas are only found in a few areas in the world specifically in Africa. This provides an unmatched experience for the tourists that get the opportunity to visit the gorillas in their cold habitats since such an activity won’t be obtained from any other place in the world.
- Mountain gorillas like humans live in families or groups called troops. Led by a silver back (A gorilla troop head or a fully-grown male gorilla), the gorilla family feeds, moves and protects itself as a group. The head not only decides all activities to be done by the group but also protects the family members and fathers most of the young ones in the troop.
- Witnessing this kind of lifestyle within wild animals is an interesting activity especially in person thus attracting a variety of tourists both local and international and this has made the large primate very popular in Africa.
- Location of the mountain gorilla troops (groups /families) has also made the large primate very popular. These primates are found in countries and regions that have a lot of natural tourists’ attractions like wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks. This provides the mountain gorilla with a wider platform of being noticed since a lot of tourists come into the countries (Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo) and would prefer to have a glimpse of the endangered animals in the area which include the mountain gorillas.
- In addition to having towards similar DNA as humans, these large primates are very intelligent to, which is an interesting fact that a lot of local and international visitors would like to enjoy and watch since they have been known to at times use sign language to interact with humans
- To add up to their similarity with humans’ beings, these large primate’s express emotion for example they cry when hurt, laugh when tickled, exhibit shyness and are playful creatures. Such notable behavior has greatly made the primates very popular in the tourism industry in Africa.
- The mountain gorilla is physically different compared to other types of gorillas, it’s larger in size, has darker, thicker, longer fur to keep it warm in its high-altitude mountainous habitat and has longer teeth, jaws and nose plus short arms. With all these different features from other primates, the mountain gorilla is one to see and thus has made it very popular.
- Mountain gorillas also live more on the ground compared to other primate species that are fond of climbing trees and therefore are easy to track, follow and view. This has also made them a better tourist choice compared to other gorilla species.
- Mountain Gorillas have a feature that differentiates each individual just like finger prints in human beings. The distinct pattern on their nose is unique to each large primate and getting an opportunity to identifying these distinct differences is a mind-blowing experience that attracts tourists to confirm the written facts thus making the mountain gorilla very popular in the continent.
- Another interesting feature that has made the mountain gorillas a popular tourist attraction is the “silver back” which is a fully-grown male gorilla. The name arises from the changing of the back fur of the male gorilla from black to silver and this change comes with maturity. For most tourists the distance and walking are worthwhile after they set eyes on a large gorilla with black and silver (back) long fur given that they are fewer since most male mountain gorillas don’t get to see that age because of the threats to their lives.