Uganda Travel News

Mountain gorillas just like human beings live in families of about five to forty individuals. Each family is composed of a dominant male commonly referred to as the lead silverback and then other males which can also be sliver or black backs. The family will also have mature females members and then other young males and female juveniles and children. When male mountain gorillas age, their back lining turns from black to silver hence the name silverback. The hierarchy on how gorilla families are organized depends on how many silverbacks, black backs, female gorillas and children are there in a given family.

How gorilla families are organized

Male mountain gorillas are always in charge of protecting other family members from intruders and to make sure that security is guaranteed. In most families where there more than one silverback, the main silverback will always be closer to the rest of the family while one or two other silverbacks will always be in a distance from where they can detect any enemies before they attack. The main silverback is always watching as females, juveniles and children are eating and playing.

Mountain gorilla families are organized in such a way that under normal circumstances, it’s only the dominant silverbacks that will always mate with the rest of the females in the family. It should however be noted that while this is so, other silverbacks can mate with females in the family behind doors. Should they be caught however, these silverbacks can be severely punished by the dominant silverback.

Under the watchful eyes of silverbacks, mountain gorillas start there day by moving from where they slept the previous day to look for food in a new place. After feeding, they will then start making their nests where they will rest for the night. While mountain gorilla families are organized, they are not territorial just like any other wild animals that mark their own territories. You may find many gorilla families in the region and as much as they are not territorial, these mountain gorilla families are organized in a way that they rarely meet each other. If this happens, it is for a short time and they will then move away from each other. For more details about behaviors of mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda, kindly contact our office which will advise on how to tailor a safari to see gorillas in the wilderness of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

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