Predators of Mountain Gorillas
Predators of Mountain Gorillas: Mountain gorillas are some of the most visited animals in East Africa with each mountain gorilla national Park receiving about 10,000 guests on average every year. The apes that live in mountainous rain forests are very interesting to see and interact with and that’s why people flock the several mountain gorilla parks to have a chance to see these gorillas.
These mountain gorillas are found in three countries in the wild in their natural habitats and these countries are Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mountain gorillas can be trekked all through the year in the different mountain gorilla parks in these various countries.
The mountain gorilla parks in these countries are Volcanoes National Park, Virunga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Parks in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda Respectively.
The mountain gorillas are large animals that share almost 98% of their DNA with human beings. These apes are able to do almost most of the things humans can do and they live a social life just like humans do.
The mountain gorillas are considered endangered because of their low population compared to other mammals in the wild; and it’s for that reason that a lot of efforts have been put in mountain gorilla conservation programs and campaigns to preserve the lives of the living gorillas and facilitate conducive environments for the mountain gorillas to multiply and grow in numbers.
Among the many conservation efforts are programs to abate the mountain gorilla predators in all the ways possible; but what or who are the mountain gorilla predators. Below we shade some light on the predators of mountain gorillas.
Mountain gorillas are assumed to not have natural predators which means they are assumed to not have predators from the wild because of different factors that include:-
- Their habitats: the mountain gorillas stay in mountainous forests in high altitudes which places are not as favourable for survival for most of the other wild mammals especially those that can be predators to the mountain gorillas and this saves the mountain gorillas from being preyed on.
- Their size: the mountain gorillas are huge mammals weighing an average of about 400 pounds, so to prey on them it will take a larger and stronger animal that can take on these mountain gorillas.
- Their social life: mountain gorillas are social animals living in groups of about 15 or more and they are led by a silverback that on top of leading the group is constantly protecting the group. The mountain gorillas’ living in groups makes it difficult for predators to attack them in a group, unless one strays from the group then can be easily attacked and killed.
- Their fighting ways: Adult mountain gorillas fight vigorously swinging and trampling on their attacker to death or points of death. This kind of fighting makes the mountain gorilla fierce and feared by other animals in the wild.
That said the most possible natural predator for mountain gorillas is a leopard. The leopard is a very strong cat and quite elusive, well able to hide in the forest and ambush a lone mountain gorilla, the leopard also has an ability to survive in trees unlike most of the big five animals or other strong animals. Wildlife studies have shown leopards preying on young mountain gorillas that were alone; it’s important to note though that the leopard rarely preys on adult mountain gorillas or silver backs but preys on the young ones; this is because the silverbacks or adult mountain gorillas are able to fight back and kill the leopard.
However the biggest predator of the mountain gorillas is the human being. Humans are the biggest preys of the mountain gorillas poaching them for various reasons which include bush meat, spiritual connotations, cultural trophies and sometimes the gorillas are poached for revenge for eating the humans’ crops or encroaching on human gardens, the mountain gorillas can also be poached when humans want to use part of the gorilla’s habitat for human related purposes like settlement or farming.
The humans’ poaching of the mountain gorillas has contributed greatly to the low numbers of mountain gorillas in the wild and the abatement of mountain gorilla poaching is one of the top priorities of all mountain gorilla conservation efforts.
One way you can contribute to these conservation efforts is by taking on a mountain gorilla trekking adventure in either one of the three countries. Mountain gorilla trekking permits are at 1500 USD in Rwanda, 700 USD in Uganda and 400 USD in the Democratic Republic of Congo.