Gorillas are made up of a few different subspecies, however the Mountain Gorilla is the most sought after for tourists. Sadly, only 660 individuals remain from this species. They are confined to the Virunga Volcanoes that make up the great rift valley that serves as the border between Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. This stunningly beautiful part of the world is the last safe haven for the critically endangered mountain gorilla. These gorillas tend to inhabit the slopes of the mountains and dormant volcanoes at high altitudes and will not even cross an open plain: They would rather go around any open meadows or plains if it means that they can stay in the forests that they inhabit. The other species are the lowland gorillas living across western Africa and have a much healthier population of around 50,000 and is often the type of gorilla seen in zoos across the world. All the types of Gorillas generally look the same with only subtle differences between each other. Gorillas of all types are incredibly powerful primates, with an average weight of 400lbs for males and 200lbs for females. When stood upright the males can measure 6ft tall. This weight and size is almost entirely powerful muscles and thus seeing these incredible animals in the wild can be exciting but often quite intimidating. They have 32 teeth that include maulers for chewing and canine teeth for biting. It is worth noting that the gestation period for the females is around 8 to 9 months, which is virtually identical to humans. This fairly long gestation period along with a very high infant mortality rate (it’s estimated that 50% will not survive past 3 years old) and pouching by humans have all contributed to it’s demise and hampered conservation efforts.

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