Wild Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
A family of mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park viewed on a trek organised by East African Jungle Safaris.
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The mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) is one of two subspecies of the eastern gorilla (Gorilla beringei). It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, as the total population is estimated to comprise 1,004 individuals in two populations as of 2018. One population lives in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and the other in the Virunga Mountains in three adjacent national parks, namely Uganda's Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The fur of the mountain gorilla, often thicker and longer than that of other gorilla species, enables them to live in colder temperatures. Gorillas can be identified by nose prints unique to each individual. Males, at a mean weight of 195 kg (430 lb) upright standing height of 168 cm (66 in) usually weigh twice as much as the females, at a mean of 100 kg (220 lb) and a height of 140 cm (55 in). This subspecies is smaller than the eastern lowland gorilla, the other subspecies of eastern gorilla. Adult males have more pronounced bony crests on the very top and back of their skulls, giving their heads a more conical shape. These crests anchor the powerful temporalis muscles, which attach to the lower jaw (mandible). Adult females also have these crests, but they are less pronounced. Like all gorillas they feature dark brown eyes framed by a black ring around the iris. Adult males are called silverbacks because a saddle of gray or silver-colored hair develops on their backs with age. The hair on their backs is shorter than on most other body parts, and their arm hair is especially long.The tallest silverback recorded was a 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) with an arm span of 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in), a chest of 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in), and a weight of 219 kg (483 lb), shot in Alimbongo, northern Kivu in May 1938. There is an unconfirmed record of another individual, shot in 1932, that was 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) and weighed 218.6 kg (482 lb). The heaviest silverback recorded was a 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) shot in Ambam, Cameroon, which weighed 267 kg (589 lb).
The mountain gorilla is primarily terrestrial and quadrupedal. However, it will climb into fruiting trees if the branches can carry its weight, and it is capable of running bipedally up to 6 m (20 ft). Like all great apes other than humans, its arms are longer than its legs. It moves by knuckle-walking (like the common chimpanzee, but unlike the bonobo and both orangutan species), supporting its weight on the backs of its curved fingers rather than its palms.
The mountain gorilla is diurnal, most active between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Many of these hours are spent eating, as large quantities of food are needed to sustain its massive bulk. It forages in early morning, rests during the late morning and around midday, and in the afternoon it forages again before resting at night. Each gorilla builds a nest from surrounding vegetation to sleep in, constructing a new one every evening. Only infants sleep in the same nest as their mothers. They leave their sleeping sites when the sun rises at around 6 am, except when it is cold and overcast; then they often stay longer in their nests.
Filmed in 4K UHD resolution using the Sony AX100 video camera.