Mountain Gorillas

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Jeri Landon
March 1, 2013
Conservation Biology
Mountain Gorilla
Murder in Africa
If you have ever looked into the eyes of a gorilla, you realize how human they look. That is because people and gorillas are ninety-eight percent genetically identical. There are two species of gorilla: Eastern gorillas and the mountain gorillas.”Gorillas are patchily distributed in east central and equatorial West Africa, separated by the Congo River and its tributaries, Eastern gorillas (including mountain and eastern lowland gorillas) are found in portions of eastern DRC, Uganda, and Rwanda” (http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/gorilla). Mountain gorillas are large beautiful creatures that are not aggressive unless provoked, much like humans. They are mostly vegetarians and eat a variety of different plants. Some of the plants they like to eat are celery, bamboo, nettles and thistles. They also enjoy eating an ant or two and maybe some grubs occupationally (http://gorillafund.org/page.aspx?pid=769). Mountain gorillas also love to eat fruit but there are only a few berries in the area that they live in. They spend a great deal of their time looking for food. It is evenly distributed in the area they live in. One their favorite food to eat is bamboo shoots and it is also one of the only seasonal foods in their environment (http://gorillafund.org/page.aspx?pid=769). “About 86% of their diet is leaves, shoots, and stems, 7% is roots, 3% is flowers, 2% is fruit, and 2% ants, snails, and grubs” (http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/info-books/gorilla/diet.htm). Mountains gorillas use their massive strength to tear down limbs to get the leaves off they want to eat. They do not damage the environment in doing so: “They crop the vegetation in a manner that allows for quick replenishment to occur” (http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/info-books/gorilla/diet.htm). Gorillas do not drink much water because they get so much from the plants they eat. Infant gorillas are similar...
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