Mountain Gorilla Diet
Mountain Gorilla Diet or what do gorillas eat article will contain a description of what gorillas really feed on and in which quantity. Mountain gorillas are found in East and Central Africa in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Virunga National Park of the Congo, Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks are the four parks in Africa that are blessed to host the endangered mountain gorillas that are about 1063 in number. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park inhabits more than half of the total gorilla population in the world. These national parks are dense tropical rainforests that some, like Bwindi, are impenetrable.
The mountain gorillas that are inhabited in those parks are the largest primates in the world and are herbivorous thus need a lot of food to enable their survival. The mountain gorilla diet is composed of plant life and they are known to feed on over 140 plant species. Fleshy leaves, shoots, vines, grass and stems of plants make up 86% of their diet whereas 7% is made of edible roots, with flowers and fruits taking up 3% and 2% respectively. The rest of the percentage in their diet is made of small insects like ants, snails, and grubs. Due to the high altitude area that mountain gorillas stay in, there are less fruit growth thus their low intake of fruits in their diet.
Food intake-how much food do mountain gorillas eat
Adult male mountain gorillas can eat up to 34kgs of vegetation per day whereas the females can eat up to 18kgs per day. These gentle primates rarely drink water. They substitute water intake with the juices that they get from the very succulent foliage that they feed on. The dew that rests on the foliage also relinquishes their need for drinking water. Mountain gorillas are selective foragers as they do not scavenge on a single plant all through. They can eat bits of fleshy leaves from one plant and then eat stems from another and then eat roots from a totally different one.
How mountain gorillas collect their food
Mountain gorillas are the largest primates and they can weigh up to 195kgs, making them so strong that they can break apart any type of vegetation. They use their lips and hand to get to the particular part of a plant they want to devour. Gorillas do not eat from one place only, more so for a long time as they never are in the same place or even sleep in the same location. This gives time to the plants from where they’d eaten from to regrow and much faster at that as they are “careful” eaters.
The mountain gorillas do not really have scarcity of food at any point in time. The rainforests they live in receive rains most of the time thus enabling growth of vegetation much faster. The rainy seasons especially have vegetation grow so much that mountain gorillas do not move far distances and can thus be seen much easily by tourists on a gorilla trekking safari.
Travelers are given an opportunity to watch these gentle gorillas as they feed and go about their normal activities in a Uganda gorilla trekking safari, Congo gorilla safari and gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda. To encounter these unique and endangered primates in their natural habitat, travelers need to first purchase gorilla permits to allow them to access a particular gorilla group. Gorilla permits in Rwanda are at $1500 while in Uganda they are at $700, $600 and ugx250,000 for foreign non-residents, foreign residents and East African citizens respectively while Congo permits are at $400 only. Booking in advance is advised as the gorilla permits sell out very fast. Take time to plan out the best travel plan with the help of a trusted tour operator and be able to meet our cousins the mountain gorillas.