How Strong are Gorillas?
How strong are gorillas? How strong are silverbacks? Well, gorillas and silverbacks particularly are stronger than any human being. Mountain gorillas are strong primates but they do not show much of their strength most of the time as they are rather gentle and placid creatures. They are the kind to want to spend an afternoon lazing around rather than being a problem and causing havoc. They are indeed capable of causing damage and harm to those that are deserving of their wrath say, poachers. The gorilla families that travelers visit in the national parks ( virunga national park Congo, Volcanoes national park , situated in Rwanda bwindi forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park) are habituated and are not known to cause harm to visitors unless they are provoked and feel threatened to say when travelers constantly use flash photography. Travelers are advised to follow the set rules and guidelines for a successful gorilla trekking safari in Africa.
Gorillas are stronger than you and me combined. The silverbacks are in fact stronger than 20 adult humans combined as they can lift or throw up to 815 kgs while a well-trained man can only lift up to 400 kgs. Any adult gorilla can lift up to 450 kilograms, not with a body size that can go as high as 200kgs.
One bite from a mountain gorilla will have you running for your dear life. Gorillas have large canines that give bites that are incomparable to any from those carnivores like lions and crocodiles. A bite from a gorilla can cover about 1,300 pounds per square inch, which is way higher to the predatory lions which have 650 pounds per square inch. Best be advised not to have a gorilla play around you, more so with your ears, you just might lose them.
Given that they move on their fours most often, their arms are hard and therefore very strong with grips that can tear just about any plantation down.
Whereas they do get their strength from their body build, the food and the amount of it that they consume is equally important. Mountain gorillas can consume up to 34 kilograms of food per day! Their diet which is mainly composed of vegetation, fruits and small insects like ants contribute to their general health and physical condition
Gorillas too, just like their cousins the humans with whom they share a 98% DNA, have emotions. With about 25 different vocalizations, mountain gorillas have voicings for when in danger or excited. When they do feel attacked or threatened, they will just like humans, scream or bellow. Gorillas do chuckle when they find something amusing, or even giggle! Chest thumping is a show of power and it is a reminder of sorts to its opponents that he is stronger, and can conquer you.
Now that you know how strong a gorilla is, and how much it can do, making sure you do not get on its wrong side is very important. If you do get attacked by a silverback, or just any giant gorilla, bowing your head in a submissive way with your eyes downcast and staying calm is very much recommended. Following your ranger guide’s instructions is equally important. Also:
- Maintaining a 7-meter distance away from the mountain gorillas should always be remembered by the travelers. Getting so close to them could have them feel threatened and thus become aggressive that they could charge at you
- Do not surround the gorilla family when you have encountered them. Staying in your group and them being at the other side of the forest is how you should view them. Surrounding them is considered an attack to them.
- Do not use flash photography with the gorillas.
- Do not stare straight into the eyes of mountain gorillas, this is threatening to them
- Do not make any form of sign language as they could interpret it differently and then have them charge at you.
- Do not touch the gorillas, more so the curious juveniles who are playful and can come and play on you. Their mothers and the dominant silverback do keep an eye at them and are very protective. You just might ear yourself a scare from them.
- Also, do not make noise while in the jungles and in the presence of the gorillas. Again, they might misinterpret your sounds.
Gorillas are undeniably strong apes, yes, but they are also the most adorable creatures you would definitely enjoy watching in the wild. They can be visited on a gorilla trekking safari to Uganda, Rwanda or the Congo all throughout the year. Travelers who have had an opportunity to do a gorilla trekking safari that saw them watching the gorillas feed, groom each other and play with one another-especially the curious and stubborn juveniles, have described the whole exercise as amazing, wonderful, out of this world with most of them being just speechless! You too can visit these mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, irrespective of your budget. Get in touch with some of the best tour operators in the region to help you with planning your once in a lifetime gorilla trekking safari.