What Kind of Gorillas Are in Africa / The Four Kinds of Gorillas?

What Kind of Gorillas Are in Africa ? First of all, Gorillas are the most intelligent mammals and so amazing that they share 98% DNA of humans making our closest relative cousins. However, in Africa their two kinds of species of gorillas the Western and the Eastern gorillas, though western species are the most abundant species than Eastern species.

Fact, Gorillas are the largest among other great apes in the wild and one of the closest relatives of man after Bond bond Chimpanzees sharing 98% of their DNA with human’s something that wonders many on their trip to one of the Gorilla trekking in Africa. Furthermore, Gorillas display many of the emotions which are common with humans like sadness and laugher, caring for their babies, wild Gorillas are can only be located in some of Africa’s tropical forest, wetlands, highlands, marshes and mountains.

In general, Gorillas are powerful primates with muscular arms, large nostrils, thick chest and black hair that covers the whole body except for the face, feet and hand and chest, mostly ‘’the silverbacks’’. Gorillas walk with all four legs most the time but can stand erect especially when feed on their diet on tree bark. The adult male gorillas are called silverback because of the gray hairs that develop on their back. Silverback gorillas are the largest than the female gorillas and weighs between 135 to 220 kilograms in the wild. The one in the captivity may grow fatter and heavier because of the space in which to exercise, because of their heavy weight that’s why adult gorillas avoid climbing trees if they can. The young ones are the only whom can climb and sleep on short tree branches most of the time. In all Gorillas live in groups led by a dominant silverback, yet in other side a group of gorillas may be led by two related silverbacks but this not common in some gorilla’s subspecies. A gorilla group can contain between 10 to 30 members who can live up to 35 in the wild and those in the captivity 45 years. The family or group of gorillas may include younger males, juveniles, females and the off springs. How gorilla groups are stable depends entirely on the bond between the females and the dominant silverback, mating in gorillas is often initiated by the female gorillas as soon as she is fertile. The younger female gorillas for them tend to leave the family once they are sexually maturity to join the adult males to form a group or other groups. The movement they make is to avoid the inbreeding and competition for attention of the dominant Silverback. For this matter, a mature male gorilla stays with his group of birth though it reaches time and be driven away by the dominant silverback to begin anew a life along or join other bachelor adult male gorillas. In their lonely life, they mall decide to snatch females from their stable family. If a male gorilla succeeds in staying with his family, he will lay low, mate with some of the females and can decide to wait take over from his aged father.

Although chimpanzees are said to be the most intelligent species /apes, then gorillas are calmer, and more peaceful and wiser. More then, gorilla groups are more stable as members very loyal to each other compared to chimpanzees.

Facts about, Chimpanzees are much more aggressive and their dominant male has a lot of work to do in caring for their group members. Although they display a calm and collected demeanor, just know that a gorilla has a terrifying bark when threatened. The silverback will attempt to protect the group by scaring away any dangerous species using aggressive displays, tearing at vegetation, roar, slapping the grounds or chest beating all these are signs of their protection against the intruders. He will also appear to attack the intruder before withdrawing.

There feeding diet: Gorillas usually feed on leaves, fruits and shoots, they are vegetarians but some time can feed on small ants and insects. During the day time they can eat a lot of vegetation to get satisfied. For this matter, gorillas can move for a new location just in search of food each. They are not territorial and this is probably because most gorilla family live a life of plenty in dense tropical forests. Gorilla family may share the same territory but avoiding each other. Group mingling has been observed among the western lowland gorilla, after feeding a lot of their diet in the morning, where individuals of the group-family will build temporary nets for an afternoon nap. After the afternoon nap, feeding can continue till late afternoon. Then family-group will start building night nests by bending foliage and other tree branches to come up with something comfortable sleeping night. They tend to build their nest every night on the ground or on the top of short trees. The silverback for them usually sleeps on the ground while infants share nests with their mothers.

What Kind of Gorillas Are in Africa / The Four Kinds of Gorillas?
What Kind of Gorillas Are in Africa / The Four Kinds of Gorillas?

The female gorillas turn sexually mature at the age of about 10 while males at the age of about 15 years. Females also give birth every four to five years and after a gestation period of 8.9 months. Gorillas have low reproductive rate one of the things that make them an endangered species. More so, female adult gorillas often give birth to a single infant but twins are a common occurrence. To a newly born weights 2 kilograms at time of birth and will be carried in the mother’s arm for three months before it sustains the strength required to ride on her back.

The Two Gorilla Species -four Kinds of Gorilla Species

How many types of gorilla are there? These is a common asked question by our clients those who have never visited any Gorilla Trekking Safari Destination. In the wild, there are two types of species; the Eastern gorilla and the Western ‘’Gorilla Gorilla’’. Though the western gorillas have high population species and their nose structure is different and they have a lighter color than the Eastern gorilla, more about western gorillas are divided into two subspecies the Cross River Gorilla ‘’ G. gorilla Diehl and the Western lowland gorilla ‘’ G, gorilla gorilla ‘’. The Eastern lowland gorillas is generally referred to as the ‘’Grauer’s gorilla. The Eastern gorillas are the largest of all other species which can be seen in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Below are the four Gorilla Sub-species that are Africa as listed; The Western Lowland gorillas, Cross River gorillas, Eastern Lowland gorillas and Mountain gorillas.

Western Lowland gorillas ‘’G. gorilla gorillas

The Western Lowland gorillas are inhabitant of lowland forests of central and west Africa such as Countries include Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon, Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are the smallest in appearance but high number of all the four subspecies. Even its challenging to identity their correct numbers because they live in the largest number in the dense forests of Africa. They estimate of about 350,000 individuals that still exist in the wild. And some these species are commonly see in zoo and stand out from the two subspecies of Eastern gorillas and this is because of their reddish fur. The western gorillas have been watched to be more open to inter group interactions and feeding diet. They may seem to be the most abundant of all of the gorilla’s sub-species, but their overall population is believed to have declined by 60% in the last 25 years. The threat that leads to their decline are the humans engaging in poaching them and Ebola virus that has wiped out over 30 percent of their overall population for the past few years.

Cross River Gorillas ‘’G. gorilla Diehl’’

The Cross River Gorilla also listed as critically endangered by the IUCN in 2006 list, that live in the forested mountains and highlands in Cameroon and Nigeria. Cross River gorillas live in the most northern part of Africa considering gorilla dispersion. Cross river gorilla’s weights about 440 pounds and can stand up to 5 feet long and are the most threated of all species of gorillas in the wild and few are remaining in the wild. They are vulnerable to extinction because they occupy a small stretch of land and come into more contact with humans. This is because of their frequent contact   with humans, they are elusive and difficult to study. The most experienced threat to them is loss of genetic diversity, habitant loss and poaching. Some species have been left in the isolated island of forests and mountains because of illegal logging. Big organizations or agents have acted fast to rescue the remaining number. Gorilla trekking is not possible with these Cross River gorilla and another thing can to be seen in the Zoos.

The Eastern lowland gorillas ‘’G. berengei graueri’’

Eastern lowland gorillas live in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo in several national parks like Kahuzi –Biega National Parks, Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Maika National Park and areas around the Itombwezi Massif. Are the largest of all gorilla species, have stocky body, a short muzzle, larger hands, and black coats but shorter hair on the head and body. And the third most critically endangered species of the three gorilla subspecies. Poaching is their greatest threatening. In total are about 7,500 Eastern lowland gorillas remain in the wild.

Mountain Gorillas ‘’G. beringei berigeri’’

Mountain gorillas are critically endangered species one of the two sub species of the Eastern gorillas. They are found in the Virunga Mountain regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda. Mountain gorillas generally live in tropical rainforest at higher elevation of 8,000 and 12,000 feet’’ and mountain slopes. They have thick and long hair. Moreover, have thick coat that protects them from cold temperature where inhabits from. These are the second most endangered of the four gorilla subspecies. Mountain gorillas can only be seen in the wild not in Zoos at the ‘’Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage in Congo. Recently, the total report of mountain gorillas that still exist was about 1064 compared to the census results from 2018.There greatest threat are habitant loss as a result of continues human encroachment on forests and mountain slopes.