195 images Created 30 Oct 2015
Mountain gorillas are one of two subspecies of eastern gorilla in Africa. They are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN red list of endangered species. They are the world's smallest population of gorillas and some scientists still debate whether they may be a separate species unto themselves. More than half live in the Virunga Mountains that border the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. The remainder live in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. These gorillas have endured war, hunting, habitat destruction and disease - threats so severe that it was once thought that the species would be extinct by the end of the the twentieth century. Mountain gorillas live in forests high in the mountains at elevations between 8,000 to 13,000 feet/2,400 to 4,000 meters. They have thicker fur compared to the lowland gorillas and more of it. The fur helps them to survive below freezing temperatures. The majority of mountain gorillas are habituated to human presence due to the eco-tourism industry. And in fact, the tourist industry which promotes trekking mountain gorillas, has given these great apes value to the local people and a sense of pride which is being attributed to their successful population growth in recent years.