September 24 #worldgorilladay
Gorillas are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forest of central Sub-Saharan Africa. The genus Gorilla is divided into two species: the eastern gorillas and the western gorillas (both critically endangered), and either four or five sub species. Gorillas are the largest living primates. The DNA of gorillas is highly similar to that of humans, from 95 to 99% depending on what is included. Gorillas are considered highly intelligent.
The mountain gorillas live up to 35 years, have an standing height of 4-6 feet and weight between 300-485 pounds. Western lowland gorillas live up to 40 years and their height is similar to the mountain gorillas, but they weight from 150-400 pounds. Did you know that an adult make gorilla can eat up to 45 pounds of food a day?
Genus Gorilla: Western gorilla (G. gorilla) and Western lowland gorilla (G. g. gorilla) Cross River gorilla (G. g. diehli) + Eastern gorilla (G. beringei) and Mountain gorilla (G. b. beringei) Eastern lowland gorilla (G. b. graueri)
All species (and subspecies) of gorilla are listed as endangered or critically on the IUCN RED LIST. Now, over 100,000 western lowland gorillas are thought to exist in the wild, with 4,000 in zoos, thanks to conservation; eastern lowland gorillas have a population of under 5,000 in the wild and 24 in zoos. Mountain gorillas are the most severely endangered, with an estimated population of about 880 left in the wild and none in zoos. Threats to gorilla survival include habitat destruction and poaching for the bushmeat trade as well for their parts. In 2004, a population of several hundred gorillas in the Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo was essentially wiped out by the Ebola virus.
Learn more about Dian Fossey the woman who devoted her life to study and protect the gorillas: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/08/Dian-Fossey-national-geographic-archives/
World Gorilla Day creates the opportunity for people all over the world to come together in celebrating the gorilla, and more importantly, taking action to protect gorillas in the wild.
2017 was the inaugural year for World Gorilla Day and it also marked the fiftieth anniversary of Karisoke Research Center, operated by The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI). Established by Dian Fossey, Karisoke is the longest running gorilla field study site dedicated to the conservation, protection, and study of gorillas and their habitats in Africa. There are many great organizations and individuals dedicated to fighting for their survival, but greater awareness and investment are essential to gaining ground for gorillas. World Gorilla Day strives to be a rallying point for bolstering appreciation and action for these great apes.