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The Mountain Gorilla
The mountain gorilla is just one species of endangered animals and is constantly decreasing in
size. The mountain gorillas are a very special and unique group of primates and are extremely near to
becoming extinct. It has been said by researchers that because of being over hunted, the destruction of
habitats, and pollution that species are disappearing at a rate of one per day. When various creatures
become nonexistent, it effects the fate of other creatures as well. There has been a numerous amount of
endangered animals to become no longer endangered, but as of now, the mountain gorillas are still imperil
of vanishing eternally.
The three subspecies of gorillas are the mountain gorilla and the western and the eastern lowland
races. The mountain gorillas live in the area of the Virunga Volcanoes on the borders of Zaire, Uganda,
and Rwanda, Africa. The number of mountain gorillas remains steady in Zaire, but in Rwanda and Uganda
the population of the species is rapidly decreasing.
Gorillas are very sociable animals. They live together in large groups which are dominated by a
silverback male. The silverback, or the “old man,” is distinguished by the wide band of silver or gray hair
the stretches vertically on his back. This gorilla leads the group and decides which direction they will head
next. Each various group of gorillas wander around in their home range, which is about two to fifteen
square miles. The separate groups usually avoid one another, but more than one group may live in the
same area of the forest.
The female gorillas usually have young every three or four years. Nearly half of the offspring will
not live to see adulthood. The body structure of a gorilla is much like that of a human. They consist of
heavy bodies, short legs, long arms, a heavily rigid brow, flattened nose, and a receding chin. Black skin is
the cover of their face, feet and hands. The hair is black and at times grayish on their chests. Females
mature at an age of approximately nine to twelve years. The males, however, do not reach their full extent
of growth until eleven of twelve years of age. An adult male normally weighs around 462 pounds and
stands at a height of six feet. Adult females weigh about 250 pounds and are five feet tall. For years
gorillas have been portrayed as savage beasts. At times, male gorillas charge an object and beat on their
chests with their fists. Nintey-nine percent of the time, this act is for entertainment. In no way are the
mountain gorillas savage beasts.
The gorilla’s day is occupied from one hour after sunrise to late evening. In early morning
feeding on a variety of leaves, buds, barks, and fruit occurs. From mid-morning to mid-afternoon is the
gorilla’s resting time. During this time the adults rest while the younger gorillas wrestle, play games, and
swing on vines. After this time, eating once again takes place. Just before dusk, the gorillas build a simple
nest where they will sleep that night.
With various species of our world facing threats of extinction, the future of the Earth’s animals
are at the hands of the human population. There are many ways possible for yourself and others to help
prevent the loss of wildlife. Many organizations and groups have been formed to give their volunteered
support to the animals in need. The mountain gorilla is only one type of creature that is endangered; an
extremely large amount of others remain. The fate of the world depends upon choices made by each and
every one of us; what will be your choice?
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Gorillas, Mountain gorilla, Eastern gorilla, Western lowland gorilla
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