The Vanishing Gorillas Every year the gorilla population decreases enormously. Disease or old age is not what is killing these wonderful animals. Illegal poaching is destroying what is left of the gorillas. Almost all species of gorillas are critically endanger of extinction. The mountain gorilla is the closest to being totally wiped from the face of the earth. There are less then 600 estimated mountain gorillas in the world today. Without better protection of the gorilla, the species will soon be extinct.
Gorillas are among the most amazing animals on earth. They are native to the lowland and mountain forests of Western and Central Africa. The mountain gorillas can be found in the Virunga Volcanoes, which are located on the boundaries of Zaire, Rawanda, and Uganda. The Virungas are 600 miles of beautiful tropical rainforest. Mountain gorillas prefer to stay between 8,000 and 11,000 feet. They stay in units known as family groups.
There are usually 6-12 members in these units and are usually related in some way. Each family group has a leader. The leader is an older silverback male. They are the largest of the ape family. Male gorillas can reach up to 6 feet tall, 600 pounds, and have an arm spread of 9 feet. These gorillas are often called silverback gorillas for their silvery colored hair on their backs. Their1 size and flaring giant canine teeth is what makes most humans afraid of them. They decide when the family moves and where they move. The silverback will also decide when they sleep. When he gets too old, his eldest son will take over the family. The females of the group are responsible for nursing the young. The diet of a gorilla consists mainly on fibrous plants and fruit.
Gorillas are peaceful and tolerant by nature.