Even in this down economy Mountain Gorillas have nothing on this pandemic not even on the head of this country Uganda for the numerous corona related lockdowns. The secrets to mountain gorillas and everything you wanted to know but you were too embarrassed to ask while on a gorilla trekking Experience.
So lets see, Is it about the truth in 3 minute session mating or do they actually mate as humans do? Three thirds of persons going for Mountain Gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi Impenetrable national park or Volcanoes National Park would encounter Gorillas mating during the one-hour trekking encounter or during the 4 hours habituation Experience.
Mountain Gorillas just like humans do actually mate and they enjoy this act as much as we do, Yes we do, don’t we? Well i guess it’s because we share 98% DNA some of those common characters and yes seems many primates have same same characters. Gorillas are generally herbivores and feed on fruits, leaves and tree shoots in the dense forests of Africa, typically seen in the thick forests of Bwindi impenetrable national park and Virunga National Park and volcanoes national park.
Mountain Gorillas live in groups of up to 30 individuals, with dominant male silverback and other males, juveniles, females and their young. Interaction with other groups is very rare though when the young one gets older, they will move to other groups to mate and make babies.
Mountain Gorillas are always very much close to each other following the rules from the silverback who is the leader or dominant male with a family. Blackbacks and other silverbacks help the leader to implement and fight any threat to the group.
Mountain Gorillas Mating And Reproduction
Gorilla mating habits depend on several factors but we also need to understand their reproductive cycle. Female gorillas reach sexually maturity at about 10 to 12 years. The ovulation cycle occurs early (around 6 years of age) but they remain infertile untill they are mature enough at 10 years.
As much as the group has other males and some even have silverbacks, only the dominant silverback has total access to the females in the gorilla family. Most males leave the group once they reach adulthood in search for other females to mate because they can’t mate with any female in the same family where the silverback dominates.
They will go away and start luring other females from other groups to start forming their own families. When they leave their father’s group, they stay alone or gang up with other bachelor males until they are able to steal females from other groups. Isn’t that a little interesting and suprising? I guess some will disagree, but lets see more.
Most females leave their fathers group too in order to avoid inbreeding. So this is where they will get in touch with the other males and form their own families and groups. Studies among mountain gorilla groups have shown that in cases where females stay with their original groups for long.
They will tactfully avoid the dominant silverback/father to avoid inbreeding. The female would rather mate with the less subordinate males in the group than with her father.
You can also Read more about Gorilla Trekking & What you Need To Know
So, Mating In Mountain Gorillas? Mating and breeding occurs throughout the year. The dominant silverback mates with all females in the group as soon as they begin ovulation.
Just like most of the animals and humans, the female always initiates the sex. The moment when a female gorilla is ready to mate is not evident physically, but when a female gorilla is ready to mate, she will approach the dominant male slowly making eye contacts, walking so close to the male, and pursing her lips and most cases when the male is not responding she will even attempt to touch and give him soft slaps and also try mating with other group members to get his attention. Very common scenarios sometimes with humans, explains some close bonds that exist between man and the mountain Gorillas
How Long is the Mating session for Mountain Gorillas?
3 minutes to max? ridiculous as it sounds but no blame game here, some human male species do that, and no surprise human share a 98% DNA, very close relatives they are. Like human, females have an ovulation time of 28 days in a month with 3 fertile days while ovulation wont happen again after 2-3 years. In a period of 3 – 6 years, Female gorillas will have 1 baby.
So Do Mountain Gorillas have multiple mates?
Even when Mountain Gorillas are classified to having single mating partners, normally the dominant silverbacks in the groups, these females can mate with other males in the absence of the main silverback or when they separate from the family group. Males in the group will mate with different females as multiple partners but as well in the absence of the Dominant in the group. You don’t want to see a silverback find any of the females in the group mating with another inferior silverback or blackback, There would be a serious fight and sometimes breakoff or separation of the family.
And Now, Do the Mountain Gorillas mate face to face?
Funny question is it but yes, though rare occasions this is. In most times, The females initiate everything by enticing the main silverback, walks closer, rubs herself on the male and will drop-position itself in front of the male kneeling and facing away ready for copulation while the male will do the mating and to a max of 3 quick minutes. What a waste, You too expected such a strong ape to go hours but no, the reverse is true for mountain gorillas mating sessions.
So, Do we have same sex in Mountain Gorillas?
Answer is a yes’ same sex encounters have been documented in mountain Gorillas on some of the Mountain Gorilla Trekking experiences Even if it does not produce any reproductive outcome, in such scenarios it occurs with bachelor males in the group as a sign of showing dominance or let’s say social bonding or more so reconciliation and arousal. For recorded facts, Cyril Grueter a researcher from the University of Western Australia had spent 18 months observing a record 22 female mountain gorillas while the outcome found almost all mountain Gorillas on research engaged in homosexual activity.
And do Mountain Gorillas Show affection?
Mountain gorillas among the primate specie are more reserved than the chimpanzees and the bonobos who share the same family as primates. However, occasionally on a gorilla trekking experience you will always see Mountain Gorillas touching each other’s nose, hugging and little kissing. Most times they tend to be much reserved in showing affectionate to each other. Sometimes you would witness a mountain gorilla hold hands and cheering up a family member. On record, The Mountain Gorillas manage their emotions same way Humans do and will rush to hug each other when upset or will also display human like behaviors like sadness and laughter.
There is so much burning questions about the life surrounding the existence of both mountain Gorillas and low land gorillas. Most of these can be answered by Our travel consultants while Planning your trip in Uganda or Rwanda with an interest in Mountain Gorilla trekking experience.
Most of Gorilla Walking Safaris’ Inspirational Journeys combine East Africa Wildlife Safaris with Mountain Gorilla trekking Experiences in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda Or Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. More so our Gorilla trekking trips are designed to impact with some of our conservation & Sustainability initiatives meant to positively change life and support communities around the Gorilla territories. Travelling With Gorilla Walking Safaris means being part of life changing journeys and you can be sure to have a guide to ask all these burning questions about Mountain Gorillas.
You can Also Read About How Much Is A Gorilla And Wildlife Safari In Africa?
Here are some well-designed Itineraries to pick an idea or we are happy to tailor your journey, designed just for you.
9 Days Primates in-style Uganda Safari. 9 Days | 8 Nights.
Are you into trekking mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Forest National Park and Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park? The 9 days primates in style is just the perfect trip for you while slumbering in top notch safari Lodges. See More Details
12 Days Best Of Uganda Impressions Safari. 12 Days | 11 Nights.
Do you prefer adding spectacular wildlife safari in combination with Gorilla trekking in Uganda? Visiting Murchison falls, Uganda’s biggest national park and home to worlds strongest waterfalls is a perfect combination. You will definitely watch a 50m wide river being reduced in a 6m wide gap and falling 45m creating the most spectacular scenic view. See more Details
14 Days Fly-to Kidepo Uganda Safari. 14 Days | 13 Nights.
Do You have some little more time, and want to see the hidden treasures of the wilderness, still virgin and rush green with spectacular wildlife encounters? Fly to kidepo valley national park where less tourists go and start a trip that includes the best wildlife encounters including Mountain Gorilla trekking. See More Details
4 Days Fly In Double Gorilla Trekking. 4 Days | 3 Nights.
Is seeing the Mountain Gorillas and exhausting time with them your aim? Or do you feel the one hour Gorilla trekking Experience is something not enough? You can watch our quick 4 days fly-in Gorilla Safari on Youtube to Bwindi forest national park, see Gorillas twice and fly back while slumbering in Top Notch Lodges. View Detailed Itinerary . Here.
9 Days Uganda & Kenya Impressions. 9 Days| 8 Nights.
Do you feel like visiting Kenya and Uganda while being witness to the best of the two countries, a trip we would term “Uganda and Kenya impressions”? The 9 days trip is a magical trip through the famous masai mara for the great Migration and Bwindi Forest national park for Mountain Gorilla trekking. See Detailed Itinerary …
11 Days Gorillas, Amboseli & Masai Mara. 11 Days | 10 Nights.
Here is a magical trip through Kenya and Uganda top selling destinations. Here are 11 magical days visiting the Amboseli National Park, The Famous Masai Mara and the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. See Detailed Itinerary …