Did you know that there are other species or subspecies of gorillas apart from the famous mountain gorillas (Gorilla Beringei)? Did you know that these subspecies of gorillas are the largest primates on planet earth?
These are found in the subspecies of the eastern gorillas which can only be found in the rainforest of Dr Congo particularly Kahuzi-Biega national park, Maiko national park, and Tayna gorilla reserve and the adjacent forests. These are the largest subspecies of gorillas and hence the largest primates on planet earth. They are scientifically called gorilla beringei graueri and they are critically endangered. Adult males can weigh up to 210kgs whereas females can weigh up to 100kg. They have a height of 4 to 6 feet with short fur on their skin, unlike mountain gorillas which are a bit longer.
You can wonder what these primates feed. They feed on stems, leaves, fruits, and bucks and sometimes they feed on insects. They live in groups comprised of up to 30 gorilla individuals. Like the mountain gorillas, each group is headed by an alpha male called the silverback. This plays different roles such as protecting the family or group and mating all females in the group once they reach oestrous. Usually, the young male tends to fight to take over their father’s throne or they leave the family end up forming their and new families.
The is means that, there is always an alternating number in different gorilla families since there is migration or split off, death and births and many more others. The females normally give birth after 9 months like humans, who give birth to only one kid at a time and on a rare basis, they can give birth to twins. The baby breastfeeds for only 3 years. The maturity age comes at 8 years for females and 12 years for male gorillas. Research says that they are about 6000 individuals that live on planet earth. They have a lifespan of between 30 to 40 years in the wild and while captive, it lives to 60 years.
The eastern low land gorillas can be found at an altitude of 1600m but recent research shows that some can be found at an altitude of 2600m above sea level like the mountain gorillas. They are highly threatened and this has made their decrease in number. One of the most common threats in Africa and particularly in Dr Congo is poaching for meat. The meat is eaten by displaced people, military personnel, miners and loggers.
Also, the locals tend to encroach on conservation areas due to the need for farming, grazing animals and also need for fuel resources like charcoal and firewood. Also the need for land for settlement. Another threat can be wars created by rebels such as the m23, Joseph Kony and many others. These end up destroying gorilla habitats and killing the gorilla individuals.
For tourists interested in visiting the eastern low land gorillas in Africa, you are highly advised to book a safari to Kahuzi-Biega national park. This conservation area is located near Bukavu Town eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the western banks of Lake Kivu. The park gets its name from the two dormant Volcanoes that are Mt Kahuzi and Mt Biega. And since the eastern low land gorillas are critically endangered, the park was listed in 1997 on the list of world heritage in danger. This was also spearheaded by the increasing political instability, leasing wildlife exploitation, and increase in the number of refugees hence the demand for food and land for settlement.
You can only do a gorilla trekking experience which exposes you to the presence of gorillas for an hour. You will learn about their behaviours, movements and many more. Also, you have great epic moments in your life as the overall experience takes about 2 to 6 hours while in the jungle.
For more information about the eastern low land gorillas, contact us since are available to help you and get all you need about these beautiful apes.