There are two species of the mountain gorilla, both of which are found in the highlands in eastern Africa. One of these is found in the volcanic mountains of Virunga in Central Africa, with the mountain gorilla having a habitat range across 4 national parks throughout the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The other mountain gorilla species is found in Ugandas Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
The mountain gorilla is one of the largest primates in the world with the male mountain gorilla, known as a silverback, often growing to twice the size of a female mountain gorilla.
The mountain gorilla has longer fur covering the mountain gorillas body when compared to other gorilla species, allowing the mountain gorilla to be able to withstand both hot and cold temperatures. The mountain gorilla has also taken to living mainly on the ground but is capable of hauling its enormous weight to around 6m high above the ground, when the mountain gorilla is looking to feed on fruits and berries that are inaccessible from the ground.
The mountain gorilla is diurnal and spends most of its waking life eating. The mountain gorilla is a highly sociable mammal and lives in groups of between 5 and 30 individuals, which includes a mix of both male and female mountain gorillas. The alpha male mountain gorilla tends to rule for around 5 years, and as these mountain gorilla groups are non-territorial, the alpha male mountain gorilla will defend his group rather than a particular territory. Around 60% of mountain gorillas, both male and female, with leave the mountain gorilla group that they are born into and will either join another group of mountain gorillas but will more likely, start their own group.
The mountain gorilla is said to be one of the closest living relatives to the human as the mountain gorillas hands are almost identical to the hands of a human being.
The mountain gorilla is a critically endangered species as the mountain gorilla population has diminished rapidly through loss of habitat and illegal poaching. Scientists however has recently revealed that the mountain gorilla population in a nature reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo has increased despite the war that is ongoing in that area of Africa.