Rwanda Gorilla

Rwanda Gorilla

It's a little known fact that each and every baby gorilla born in Rwanda is today subject to a naming ceremony called Kwita Izina. This revival of the ancient tradition is a reflection of the growing importance of the status of mountain gorillas in the country. Whilst mankind does not pose a direct threat to the gorilla through hunting or poaching (although poaching is once again becoming an issue despite the gorilla being seen to manually destroy poaching equipment), many are injured or killed by traps set for other animals or threatened by loss of habitat as poor farmers convert forests to farm production. Many were also accidentally killed during the conflicts in Rwanda, however recent research indicates that the gorilla population of Rwanda has increased by some 17% in the last few years.

The gorilla is the closest living relative of mankind, having a genus that split from humans just nine million years ago, and mainly live in the Virunga Mountains of central Africa, between Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is believed that there are approximately 1,000 mountain gorillas in the wild today, with 604 of those in the Virunga Massif itself and, due to concerted efforts between governments, communities and NGOs, these numbers are now rising. The mountain gorilla of Rwanda is mostly herbivore living on a diet of leaves, stems and shoots although they are also known to eat small mammals and they live in groups, being a highly social mammal.

Rwandan Gorilla

A young male gorilla will leave its group when it's about eleven years old and set off with other males for a couple of years before identifying young females and creating a new group with them. Such groups range from 3-30 in number. By the age of twelve years, he is known as a 'silverback' reflecting the patch of silver hair on his back which is evident by this age. If the male dies without leaving a male offspring capable of controlling the group, another adult gorilla will move in and take control even killing off male heirs to force the females to have more children. The mountain gorilla has an average age of between 30-50 years, although most live to around 35yrs in the wild. The male gorilla grows to around 5ft 6" weighing 28 stone whilst females grow to around 4ft 6" and normally weigh around 14 stone. Check out the video below or watch gorillas in their natural habitat using the gorilla webcam at our sister site linked to below.

Rwanda Gorilla: Volunteer in Rwanda

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Rwanda Images: Gorilla Webcam

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Visit our sister site to view probably the best live gorilla webcam on the planet located deep in Africa offering rare footage of the critically endangered eastern gorilla.

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Rwanda Gorilla: Rwanda Country Profile

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