Eastern Lowland Gorillas
Eastern lowland gorillas are a critically endangered subspecies of the Eastern gorilla. Eastern lowland gorillas are endemic to the mountainous forests of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, distributed in Kahuzi Biega National Park and other eastern lowland gorilla destinations in Congo. Eastern lowland gorillas inhabit the lowland rainforests as well as dense montane forests in tropical climate. A 2016 report by the Fauna and Fauna International reported a drop in the numbers of the eastern lowland gorillas from 17000 in 1995 to only 3800 individuals in 2016. This therefore has the eastern lowland gorillas listed as critically endangered and in need of immense conservation efforts for future generations to meet them.
The Eastern lowland gorillas are among the largest of the four gorilla species. Eastern lowland gorillas have stocky bodies with large hands and bulky skulls, as well as long arms with thumbs extending much further than the other fingers. On average, male eastern lowland gorillas grow to up to 163kg with a height of 1.69m, while female eastern lowland gorillas can weigh up to 81kgs only with a height of 1.8m only. Eastern lowland gorillas have jet black coloring just like the mountain gorillas, with the hair of the eastern lowland gorillas is quite shorter on the head and the body. Older male eastern lowland gorillas have a swathe of silver hair which blankets its rear when they do reach sexual maturity usually at the age of 12 years. Female eastern lowland gorillas as well as non-mature male gorillas on the other hand have their fur dark and much shorter than that of the mountain gorillas. Non-mature male eastern lowland gorillas are called black blacks.
Female eastern lowland gorillas start giving birth when they do mature usually at the age of 8 years or more. Female eastern lowland gorillas have a gestation period of about 8.5 months, and it is the mothers that directly care for the infants. Infants stay close to their mothers for up to 5 years until they can be independent.
Eastern lowland gorillas just like other gorilla species do live in groups called troops. These gorilla families can range from 5 to up to 30 gorilla individuals, with one head of the troop. The head of the gorilla group is usually the dominant silverback, which earns the right from its age and of course strength given they actually fight to establish the head of the family; it is usually a silverback battling with other black backs which think they are strong enough to lead the family, or even with other silverbacks. Silverbacks are responsible for everything concerning the gorilla group, it is the silverback to decide where they shall eat from, where they shall nest, and everything else about the group. Silverbacks also protect their family from attacks and harm, even with their life.
Eastern lowland gorillas just like other species of gorillas do foliage and can eat up to 18kgs of vegetation in a day. The diet of eastern lowland gorillas mostly consists of shoots and roots, leaves, with small servings of small insects like ants and termites.
Threats to eastern lowland gorillas
Threats to eastern lowland gorillas include poaching for wild met specifically, civil unrests in the Congo which see gorillas being lost in the middle of crossfire, as well as destruction or habitat loss which sees the forests that the eastern lowland gorillas inhabit being encroached on by humans for cultivation and settlement, as well as logging and mining. Disease is another of the many threats of the eastern lowland gorillas.
Eastern lowland gorillas are endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the Congo, eastern lowland gorillas inhabit Kahuzi Biega National Park, Maiko National Park, Tayna Gorilla Reserve, Usala forest and Itombwe Massif. It is in Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo that travelers can encounter the eastern lowland gorillas with a lowland gorilla trekking safari. Eastern lowland gorilla trekking has travelers hiking the forest cover of Kahuzi Biega National Park in search of the eastern lowland gorillas.
Eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park is not as hectic as gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park to encounter the mountain gorillas given the eastern lowland gorillas are in near the slopes of the forests. Estern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park can take from 30 minutes to up to 2 hours or more, having travelers spend only one hour with the gorillas. Gorilla trekking permits which allow one access to encounter the eastern lowland gorillas can be gotten from the park headquarters of Kahuzi Biega National park, costing only $400 per person per trek.
Eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park can be encountered any time of the year, with the dry season being the best time to visit Kahuzi Biega National Park for eastern lowland gorilla trekking safaris. Visit Congo any time for amazing encounters with the critically endangered estern lowland gorillas of the Congo. It is only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that travelers can actually encounter two taxa of gorillas; eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park and mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park. Take time to get in touch with an experienced and knowledgeable tour operator to help you pitch together an amazing Congo gorilla safari to encounter the eastern lowland gorillas and more.