Fun Facts - Mountain Gorilla

 

Mountain gorillas are the world's largest living primates

Mountain gorillas can grow to up to 6feet tall and weigh up to 400lbs, and most of that is muscle (and that's pretty hench considering they don't have cross fit classes and protein shakes)!

 Photo - Lukas Spieker

Photo - Lukas Spieker


The dominant male of a mountain gorilla group is called a 'silverback'

Dominant males are known as ‘silverbacks’ because they have a patch of silver hair on their back and hips which they develop when they’re about 12-15 years old. There is usually only 1 dominant male per group, they protect the group from danger and have been known to even sacrifice themselves to protect their family if needed.

 

The most handsome silverback in the world's name is called Shabani

Well... that's what many people believe! Shabani is a western lowland gorilla born in the Netherlands and is popular for his handsome looks and dramatic poses, with local admirers dubbing him an “ikemen”, or “good-looking man”. The Japanese tourists in Higashiyama Zoo especially took a liking to him and he went viral only last year.

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Gorillas are highly intelligent

They use tools and have various methods of communication; scientists have recorded over 25 different sounds gorillas use to communicate. One famous captive-born individual, Koko, has been taught sign language since she was a year old. By the age of 40, she knew about 1,000 signs and could understand over 2,000 words of English!

 Photo - Suzi Eszterhas

Photo - Suzi Eszterhas

Gorillas can catch human diseases

Gorilla share about 98% of the same DNA as humans. This means they can contract illnesses from people but they don’t have the immune system to fight them much like the indigenous people of the Americas when the Europeans visited. Unfortunately this means that people who aren't intentionally harming them might be causing a big problem for their population.

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We can help Gorillas

We can help gorillas by supporting charities that work to protect their environment and raise awareness of the problems gorillas face in key regions.

We support the African Wildlife Foundation but there are many more charities that do great work in this field also.

Find out more at AWF.org

 

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Thanks,

Ross Okoye

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