Short Rwanda Gorilla Safaris

Best Uganda Birding Safaris

Image Alt

Do Mountain Gorillas Live In Families?

Do Mountain Gorillas Live In Families?

Do Mountain Gorillas Live In Families?

Do mountain gorillas Live in families? Mountain gorillas are social animals that live in stable groups of 5-30 individuals led by an adult male called the silverback with several other adult males, females, and their off springs. Though mountain gorillas live in groups there are some solitary males that roam the forest on their own and fight some groups to grab some females or join female groups whose silverbacks have died and there is no heir to take over the group.

The largest mountain gorilla group ever recorded was found in volcanoes national park Rwanda consisting of 65 individuals, when a group leader dies the eldest son usually takes over the leadership. Female mountain gorillas always live their birth groups and join solitary males to form a group or join another group before producing, once a female produces in a group they usually stay there for the rest of their lives.

The dominating silverback always has access to all the group females and other males are not allowed to have access to any female in the group or it will bring fights between the dominating silverback and other males.

Just like human beings, a mountain gorilla has a gestation of 8 months and a half and after giving birth to their babies they take care of these babies that cling to their stomachs or backs and feed on breastmilk up to the age of 3-4 years old. The females also take the responsibility of weaning and grooming their babies, the babies sleep in the same nests with their mothers until a certain age when they can construct their own next to their months.

The dominating silverback is responsible for the protection of the group members and will fight for its group’s safety in case of any external attacks. If a female mountain gorilla dies and lives its baby, the dominating silverback will take care of the offspring and even sleep with it in their nest.

Mountain gorilla families can disperse when a silverback dies without leaving an offspring in the group, the females might go and join other gorilla families or a lone silverback might come and take over the group but if the group has young males the new silverback will kill all the infants of the dead silverback to avoid competition.

Where to find mountain gorillas

After finding out that mountain gorillas live in families, you need to know where to see them. Mountain gorillas can only be found in Africa in the whole world. They are found in three countries in 4 national parks and these are Rwanda in volcanoes national park, DR Congo in Virunga national park, Uganda in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, and Mgahinga gorilla national park.