How do mountain gorillas defend themselves from Danger?
How do mountain gorillas defend themselves from Danger? Mountain gorillas even though they stay in high altitudes of mountainous forests; like other animals in the wild they face danger from quite a number of predators. The major known predators for mountain gorillas are humans and leopards, however this doesn’t rule out some other rare predators like lions.
Humans usually set traps for the mountain gorillas in the forests or hunt them down with bows and arrows, spears or guns. On other hand leopards ambush the gorillas somewhere in the forest especially the young mountain gorillas.
Though the mountain gorillas are known to be peaceful animals, rarely caught in fights or altercations with other creatures they are strong animals that when faced with danger they can as well defend themselves from eminent danger coming their way.
So here below we discuss some of the ways mountain gorillas protect themselves from danger.
It’s important to note that because mountain gorillas are huge and strong animals, the most preyed on gorillas in the wild are the infant or young mountain gorillas because they are usually not as strong as the adults.
So when a mountain gorilla group is attacked or senses danger, the group’s silverback will take charge and go at the front of all the group members. When the silverback goes a head of the others, he will usually charge at the danger or predator making loud groaning and tighten teeth and chest pounding; and this will usually scare away the predator.
If the predator is not scared away the mountain will become more aggressive and then:-
- Start beating its chest and runs towards the predator; at this moment the mountain gorilla (silverback) will be so charged that even with its weight it will be running fast towards the predator.
- It will also make screams louder than the groaning and these screams are meant to not only scare the predator but to rally for help from other gorillas and to alert the silverback’s group to go into hiding especially the young mountain gorillas.
- The mountain gorilla will also shake the vegetation to show that it’s powerful as it heads towards the predator.
- It will then pick sticks or tree branches and swing them in the air with a lot of force as a tactic to scare the predator away.
You should know that at this point the mountain gorilla’s intention is not to harm the predator but rather to scare the predator away from the forest and the mountain gorilla family. Mountain gorillas usually don’t fight predators immediately they will scare the predator away with several techniques and only engage in fighting the predator if the predator remains even after all the scares.
In most cases the predators get scared at the defence tactics of the mountain gorilla and they will normally run away, so the mountain gorilla will not fight.
So in cases where the predator has not been scared enough to go away from the mountain gorilla’s presence, the silverback will continue to make communication noises to call for help and also noises for the females and young of the group to go into hiding.
The silverback will then charge at the predator this time more aggressively than before and will then attack the predator swinging and trampling on the predator until the predator is incapacitated.
In these cases unless the predator overpowers the mountain gorillas and kills it, the predator will most cases be killed by the mountain gorilla just from the heavy trampling on it.
When the mountain gorilla neutralizes the predator, the mountain gorilla will then go back to its group to ensure all the group members are safe and sound.
On top the silverback standing in the gap and protecting its family, mountain gorillas also defend themselves from predators by:-
- Always staying in their groups; keeping in their groups scares away the predators and also keeps the mountain gorillas in the sight of the silverback that can easily jump in to protect them in case of danger.
- Some cases if the predators comes actively pursuing the gorillas like throwing stones or objects at the gorillas, the gorillas may climb trees to run away from the eminent danger.
- Because mountain gorillas are like humans they will also hold sharp sticks or elements from the forest and swing them at the predator as the run for cover.
And that’s how the mountain gorillas defend themselves from danger.