Rwanda Gorilla

Its a little known fact that each and every baby gorilla born in Rwanda is today subject to a naming ceremony called Kwita Izina. This revival of the ancient tradition is a reflection of the growing importance of the status of mountain gorillas in the country. Whilst mankind does not pose a direct threat to the gorilla through hunting or poaching (although poaching is once again becoming an issue despite the gorilla being seen to manually destroy poaching equipment), many are injured or killed by traps set for other animals or threatened by loss of habitat as poor farmers convert forests to farm production.

Rwanda Gorilla: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licenseMany were also accidentally killed during the conflicts in Rwanda, however recent research indicates that the gorilla population of Rwanda has increased by some 17% in the last few years. It is believed that there are only about 380 mountain gorillas in Rwanda today (out of an estimated 760 in the world), a very small population for a mammal that is the closest living relation of mankind having a genus that split from humans just nine million years ago. They mainly live in the Virunga Mountains of central Africa, between Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The mountain gorilla of Rwanda is mostly herbivore living on a diet of leaves, stems and shoots although they are also known to eat small mammals and they live in groups, being a highly social mammal.

A young male gorilla will leave its group when its about eleven years old and set off with other males for a couple of years before identifying young females and creating a new group with them. Such groups range from 3-30 in number. By the age of twelve years he is known as a 'silverback' reflecting the patch of silver hair on his back which is evident by this age. If the male dies without leaving a male offspring capable of controlling the group, another adult gorilla will move in and take control even killing off male heirs to force the females to have more children. The mountain gorilla has an average age of between 30-50 years, although most live to around 35yrs in the wild. The male gorilla grows to around 5ft 6" weighing 28 stone whilst females grow to around 4ft 6" and normally weigh around 14 stone.



 
 
 
 
 
 


Rwanda Gorilla

Rwanda Gorilla

Rwanda Gorilla

Rwanda Gorilla

 


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Rwanda Gorilla

Rwanda Gorilla

A video documentary about gorilla tracking and preservation in Rwanda where the gorilla safari and trekking is gaining in popularity. The above video shows the work being undertaken to help the gorilla community in Rwanda and the growing importance attached to their welfare. It is hoped that this work will prevent the extinction of the mountain gorilla predicted by some to occur within the next twenty years. Check out a live gorilla webcam here

 


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