High in the Virunga Mountains of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda live mountain gorillas. These gorillas are on the endangered animal list and were once thought to be near extinction. Recent conservation efforts have improved their chance for survival.
- Mountain gorillas are beautiful, peaceful animals, which live at high altitudes of 8,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level.
- These animals have thick, thick fur to keep them warm.
- Another group of mountain gorillas lives in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
- Mountain gorillas have endured much hardship as humans have moved into their habitat, destroying forests, hunting them, bringing disease, and forcing them to move higher into the mountains.
- Long-lasting wars and violence have also impacted mountain gorillas. Poachers kill them for their meat.
- Scientists say there are currently 1,000 mountain gorillas living in the African forests, double the number that lived there just 20 years ago.
- Mountain gorillas grow 4 to 5 feet high and can weigh up to 440 pounds. They live in groups and take good care of their young.
- These animals are closely related to humans and can catch diseases from us, but they get much sicker. A cold can kill a mountain gorilla.
Questions and Answers
Question: How are people helping the gorillas?
Answer: Education is one of the main ways. The people living in the area endure many of the same problems as the mountain gorillas. They often lack resources and food and experience violence. Mountain gorillas bring tourists to the area, which can improve conditions for the people living there.
Education about efficient farming practices can reduce the need for gorilla meat. Here, people can help by donating time and money to agencies that help the gorillas. We can read and learn about what’s happening in other places. And we can use resources wisely and responsibly in our own corners of the world.