Eastern Lowland Gorilla

Eastern lowland Gorillas are in the Kingdom=animalia Phylum=Chordata Class=Mammalia   Order=primates   Family=Hominidae   Genus=gorilla   Species=gorilla beringei graueri

Eastern lowland gorillas are the largest and strongest plus one of the most intelligent primates in the world thanks to their mass muscle ratio to the rest of their body. There are two known subspecies of the eastern gorilla which are the mountain gorilla that inhabits the mountain rainforests and sub alpine forests of Eastern Democratic Republic Of Congo, South Western Uganda and Rwanda and the Grauer’s gorilla that inhabits the forests of the Albertine rift in Eastern Democratic Republic Of Congo exclusive to the Afrotropical biogeographical realms. They inhabit over 11,900sq km as of today with top speed of 450km/hr but mainly Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

 Where to see the Eastern Lowland gorilla

 They are found in gazetted national parks such as Maiko National Park and Kahuzi Beiga National Park, the most known protected area but still does not offer them a haven from civil unrest across the Democratic Republic of Congo making them come under the critically endangered animal species suffering a 70% population collapse with about only 5000 gorillas left in the wild.  Also some are found in Usula forest and Itombwe Massig a reserve created by the Wildlife  life.  

Body structure; The Gorilla Beringei  Graueri is identified by a stocky body, short muzzle and large hands with short hair and 32 teeth like humans  with long arms and thumbs longer than the fingers. Adult males over 12years are called silverbacks due to the hair on their backs which changes its colour, turning from black to gray. An adult male weighs about 210kg while the females reach about an average weight of 100kgs with a lifespan of 30 to 40 years of age and in captivity they can live as old as 60 years. The average silverback gorilla is equivalent to twenty adult human beings and can lift or throw upto 1796.77lb(815kg) which is the average weight of more than twenty adult humans combined. The male are 6.1feet(1.85m) while females are 5.2feet(1.6m).  when under stress, apocrine glands in armpits of the females emit a strong bad smell.

Eastern Lowland Gorilla way of life

The eastern Lowland Gorillas way of life involves  living in groups called harems or troops of less than 30, highly sociable and peaceful but not territorial living in family groups as they are highly social. There is a lot of inbreeding among the members. Each group has a dominant leader who protects the group from danger. The young ones are known as babies/infants. Groups include some male and female babies and a few adult females.  They are usually quiet but may utter sounds in different ways. They have 16 different types of calls. They communicate using barks, hoots, growls, screams and laughs when happy. How cute!!. However they cannot be kept as pets. Eastern lowland gorillas tend to climb from tree to tree to gather food while the young ones jump from branch to branch to play. They spend 40% of their day resting, 30% travelling and another 30% feeding.

Mating in Eastern Lowland Gorillas / How do Lowland Gorillas find a mate?

Eastern Lowland Gorillas are polygyny with a dominant male having exclusive right of mating with all the females of the group. They mate all year round with a gestation period of 8.5months for a single baby. The mother breastfeeds the baby for a year.  The females reach sexual maturity at ten years old while males reach at least fifteen years old before they breed. They cozy up at night.

What do Eastern Lowland Gorillas Eat?

The diet of Eastern Lowland Gorillas is mainly leaves and vegetables. They are omnivores but their preference remains vegetarian food consuming leaves, stems, bamboo shoots and fruits apart from bananas.  However if they come across banana plantations, they destroy them to eat the nutritious pith from the tree. They also eat invertebrates such as ants, termites and usually break open termite nests to eat the larvae. They can eat all day long.

Eastern Low Lowland Gorilla extinction.

the biggest threat to the eastern lowland gorilla is humans and leopards in the congo forests. Poachers target them because of the high demand for their bush meat. Their meat is a delicacy within the local communities, miners and loggers plus people displaced by the civil war in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. About 250eatern lowland gorillas are killed for meat supply to hungry consumers. Apart from poachers, the other threat to the gorillas is the civil wars in congo where the bandits fight within the forests and mining close to the gorilla habitats making scientific investigations and monitoring of the animals becomes difficult.  Its also difficult to implement policies against poaching in areas with civil unrest due to fear of ones life. However, there’s still some hope from the international organizations such as united nations with the largest peace keeping force in congo and the worldwide life working together with the Congolese wildlife authority to carry out surveys and monitor the endangered species in Kahuzi Beiga National Park monitoring and following up on the animals about their lives, location and habitat for a good cause.

What would happen if gorillas went extinct?

Gorillas, like most animals in the wild, have an important role to play in their environment. Without these large gentle giants’ grazers eating lots of vegetation and breaking bamboo forests, the natural balance of the food chain will be disrupted.

How can you save Eastern Low land Gorillas from Extinction?

In order to Successfully save these endangered gorillas in their homes in Africa – should be the mission for everyone. Gorillas requires ongoing, long-term protection and monitoring in the forests every day throughout their different homes like mountain gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda, Grauer’s gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with combined efforts of trackers, anti-poachers and scientists. It is very expensive effort and gorilla conservation mainly depend on tourism or visitor.

In order to conserve Gorillas, you need to book a gorillas trekking tour, recycle mobile phones since the minerals used in making phones are mined from gorilla habitants and support nonprofit organizations that work in gorilla conservation like Diana fossey.

Why are Eastern Lowland Gorillas facing extinction?

 The main causes of this dramatic decline in the number of Eastern lowland Gorillas is  poaching, land clearing, and the ongoing bloody civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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