Are mountain gorillas friendly?
Are mountain gorillas friendly? Mountain gorillas are the big endangered wild apes that reside in the groups of apes in African forests. These gorilla apes are close relatives of human beings by sharing 98% of DNA.
Mountain gorillas are located in Virungas national park in central Africa and Uganda Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park and Mgahinga National park. And lastly the volcanoes national park in the Republic of Rwanda.
Very many tourists intending to trek mountain gorillas have always asked whether mountain gorillas are friendly especially when they are encountered during a gorilla trek. A gorilla trek refers to a fascinating activity whereby visitors traverse the dense forests parks of Virungas, volcanoes, Bwindi, and Mgahinga under a trained guide in search of mountain gorillas.
The fact that visitors are assigned one hour to spend with gorillas, it is in their interest to know if mountain gorillas are friendly. Mountain gorillas are actually or very friendly and calm creatures that everyone would like to associate with. Their giant size, intellectual capability, and their strength in posture don’t stop them from being so cool and friendly.
The high level of friendship that gorillas exhibit is as a result of training that is accorded to them during the process of gorilla habituation. The gorilla habituation process involves the training of gorillas by professional trackers and researchers such that they can be close and get used to human beings particularly when being trekked.
The friendly aspect of mountain gorillas was best described by an American researcher Dian Fossey who stayed and lived with mountain gorillas for a long in Volcanoes national park. She once said she felt comfortable living with gorillas than human beings. That was before his death. This clearly shows that gorillas are friendly creatures to associate with.
Despite their friendliness, gorillas remain wild animals and they are likely to turn against you especially if you invade their territory, attack them and hurt their young babies. This implies that gorillas will become so aggressive and dangerous only when you destabilize them and they feel unstable. Here they will fight back vigorously by hitting the ground and their chest, bites, and thumping. If this happens and you’re not saved, gorillas can finish you off.
It’s important to note that before mountain gorillas can become close friends to people or tourists through the process of habituation, a team of researchers and rangers spend at least two to two and a half years making gorillas get used to human beings and once the process is done and a gorilla group is opened for trekking, there are rules you need to follow while trekking this habituated gorilla family.
Some of the rules you need to follow include maintaining a 7-meter rule distance while in presence of gorillas, putting on a face mask, never look at gorillas directly in the eyes as this makes them shy, you don’t need to run away in case a gorilla charges and never to use a camera with flashlight among very many other rules.