What happens when a silverback dies? Silverbacks are male mountain gorillas. They are known to be strong and the leaders of their respective families. You will find a silverback in every gorilla family; in fact most families are formed by the silverback. When a male gorilla becomes of age he will leave his family and go on to form a family by attracting female gorillas that he mates with to produce more gorillas and eventually make a full blown family. This is what eventually makes this gorilla a silverback.

The other things that make this male gorilla a silverback after forming the family is its leadership of the family, protection, provision and guidance of the family. In other words it take centre stage in making sure the gorilla family is well and comfortable as it goes on with its life.

So, from all that it looks like a gorilla family’s well-being is dependent on the silverback; but what if a silverback dies? A silverback can die of natural causes, predator attacks or due to fighting for its family – silverbacks will fight to the point of death just to protect their Gorilla families.

Whatever the cause of the silverback’s death; what happens when a silverback dies. A number of things can happen and below we highlight some of the things.

What happens when a silverback dies?
What happens when a silverback dies?
  1. Group or family will scatter: after the silverback dies, some families do not have any sense of direction they will wonder into the forest as loners.
  2. Family members join other groups: the family members especially the females may join other families. This happens usually when the gorilla family is in close proxy with another family – the family experiencing loss can just cross over to them.
  3. Young males take over leadership of the group: sometimes if the group has other males, usually sons of the silverback. The one male that is able can take over the family and becomes the silverback.
  4. Other silverbacks take over the family: sometimes the other silverbacks in the forest when they notice a silverback of a certain family is dead they will take over the family by force. And usually if there are young males there, this new silverback will kill them all.
  5. In very rare cases the family that has lost a silverback will remain as it and continue on with its life. But this is very rare; the family may stay alone for a while but eventually join another family.

Generally that’s what happens when a silverback dies, but you can also find out more information about the silverbacks and the mountain gorillas on your mountain gorilla trek.

Mountain gorilla treks are done all year round in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo. In Uganda mountain gorilla trekking is done in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park. In Rwanda it’s done in Volcanoes National Park and in Virunga National Park for the Democratic republic of Congo

Mountain gorilla trekking permits cost 700 USD in Uganda, 1500 USD in Rwanda and 400 USD for DRC. All mountain gorillas may be the same or similar but trekking experiences differ for every country and every gorilla habitat. Some are more adventurous than others while others are more tiring compared to others.

What happens when a silverback dies?
What happens when a silverback dies?

Usually trekkers will choose a mountain gorilla trekking experience depending on their budget or preference or desire for more or less adventure. Other trekkers choose a trekking destination because of the other safaris they are doing.

Whatever your reasons for choosing a mountain gorilla trekking experience, we guarantee you, you will be delighted extremely blown away by this primate experience.

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