Mountain Gorilla

Uganda’s dense forests are home to over half the world’s 750 or so mountain gorillas - the rest live in the neighboring Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As they do not survive in captivity, preservation of these fragile habitats is essential for their survival.

Gorillas display uncanny human characteristics. The close-knit family groups are headed by a silverback - a mature male - who selects places for the group to eat and sleep, and has many privileges, including the right to feed first. This privilege pays off for the rest of the family, as if the group is threatened, the silverback - weighing up to 120kg (260lbs) - will defend them to the death, if necessary.

Generally though, the gorilla is a gentle species. They are considered to be highly intelligent, have been observed using tools like other great apes, and communicate using a variety of vocal sounds.

The name gorilla comes from the Greek gorillai - meaning hairy women.

Information sourced from African Wildlife Foundation ( http://www.awf.org/) and Friend-A-Gorilla ( http://www.friendagorilla.org/)

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