Why are there no Mountain Gorillas in captivity? -Uganda Safari News
Mountain Gorillas have before gone through numerous attempts to be captivated but still there no Mountain Gorillas in captivity. During 1960’s and the 70’s numerous attempts were made to captivate Mountain Gorillas with many adults being killed to obtain babies but none of them survived. The last known Mountain Gorilla that survived in captivity was known as Kaboko who survived in Senkwekwe Center mountain gorilla sanctuary at the Virunga National park headquarters in the Eastern DRC. He passed on at approximately 5:30 a.m. on July 25 after fighting raged between the Congolese army and the M23 rebels less than a mile from the center. Up to date, there no Mountain Gorillas in captivity and here is why;
The reason why Mountain Gorillas failed to survive in captivity is unclear but most probably the main reason is because of the gorilla diet. The dietary needs of a mountain gorilla are too specific based almost exclusively on foliage. Mountain Gorillas are primarily herbivores; the majority of their diet is composed of the leaves, shoots and stems (85.8%) of 142 plant species. It also feeds on bark (6.9%), roots (3.3%), flowers (2.3%), and fruit (1.7%), as well as small invertebrates. (0.1%). Adult males can eat up to 34 kilograms (75 lb.) of vegetation a day, while a female can eat as much as 18 kilograms (40 lb.). This rate of consumption and variety in feeds makes it difficult for the gorillas to survive in captivity. Their natural habitat offers a variety of desired feed taken at their own will.
Many gorillas in captivity die of heart disease resulting from obesity. This is so because they feed a lot and do less exercise. This could actually be reason for failure of mountain gorillas to survive in captivity.
The other reason could be stress therefore succumbing to disease more rapidly. For instance, kaboko the male gorilla that survived in Congo died after the outbreak of fights in the country just less than a mile from its residence.
However, the population of mountain gorillas is just starting to recover and therefore trying to take them to captivity could seriously harm the population. It could be better to conserve the mountain gorillas within their natural habitat and we continue living without any of them in the zoos since we can still see them in the wild.
How therefore can I see Mountain Gorillas?
Since there no mountain gorillas in captivity the only way of seeing them is by undertaking a gorilla trekking safari. Mountain Gorillas are only existent in three countries and Four National Parks in the whole world. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are the gorilla habitats in Uganda. In Rwanda mountain gorillas are found in Volcanoes National Park and in Virunga National Park in Congo.
To see the elusive gentle giants therefore one has to plan a Uganda gorilla trekking safari, Gorilla safari Rwanda or Congo gorilla trekking safari. Each country has rules guiding the activity with a minimum age being 15 years of age. Mountain gorilla trekking involves hiking since the gorillas survive at an altitude of about 1,190-4,507.
How safe is it to trek Mountain Gorillas?
Gorillas are not aggressive or readily set to cause harm to people. Generally, gorillas are very shy and reserved towards people however, if threatened or when a person behaves the wrong way they will attack. By behaving the wrong way, it means you didn’t follow the rules and therefore made noise, looked direct into its eyes, beat your chest or did expose them to flash photography, this will get them cautious. Before gorilla families are opened up for gorilla trekking they go through habituation therefore are carefully exposed to humans in the wild. They will still have caution near humans, but they have learned that humans are not a threat, and they act accordingly.
Gorilla trekking is becoming a popular safari activity entailed in many itineraries to Africa because of the aliveness from the safari. Plan a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda gorilla tour or gorilla trekking safari in Congo and have one of a kind safari. Humans and gorillas have a lot of likeness since we share about 90% of DNA with the species. Tailor the activity to either your Rwanda wildlife safari, wildlife safari in Uganda or Congo wildlife safari and have more of sightings but a lifetime experience.