World Gorilla Day highlights the plight of these great apes

Posted by Imogen Searra on 24 September 2020

On World Gorilla Day [September 24] it is important to understand the plight of these incredible animals. The IUCN has listed both the Eastern and Western gorilla as critically endangered.

World Gorilla Day highlights the plight of great apes

Mountain gorillas, a subspecies of Eastern gorillas, are also a critically endangered species with 880 individuals left in the wild.

These animals live in tropical forests in central Africa. There are two known isolated populations which reside in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda and the other in Virunga volcanoes. This area spans the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Cross River gorilla is a subspecies of Western gorillas. Their existence was unknown until the 20th century. They are found in a mountainous area between Nigeria and Cameroon at the top of the cross River. These are the world’s most endangered great ape with a population size of 200-300 individuals.

Due to human destruction, such as deforestation, poaching and civil war, gorillas have been driven to near extinction.

Gorillas, like most wild animals, play an important role in maintaining the natural balance of the environment in which they occur.

Read: Jane Goodall’s warning for humanity

Gorilla facts:

  • A silverback gorilla refers to a dominant males due to their patch of silver hair on the back and hips.
  • Humans share around 98% of DNA with gorillas
  • Eastern and Western gorillas are critically endangered
  • The Cross River gorillas are a subspecies of Western gorillas
  • The Mountain gorillas are a subspecies of Eastern Gorillas
  • Male mountain gorillas can weigh up to 180kg and females up to 90kg.
  • Gorillas are omnivores

Image credit: Unsplash


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