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International > The picture of the week > Mountain gorilla in Uganda

Picture of the week (No.13): mountain gorilla in Uganda.                            Share

Each week (actually about 2 or 3 times a month), Willgoto selects here a nice picture. The mountain gorilla in Uganda is the theme of the thirteenth photo of this series. The gorillas, the bonobos, and the chimpanzees are genetically the closest living beings to human beings because they share 98-99% of their DNA. However, recent studies have discovered that 15% of the human genome is closer to that of the gorilla than that of the chimpanzee.

Mountain Gorilla in Uganda
Mountain Gorilla in Uganda: a critically endangered species.

The country. Uganda is a country in East Africa. It is located between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (to the west) and Kenya (to the east). To the south, it is bordered by Rwanda and Tanzania and, to the north, by South Sudan. English is the official language of Uganda. Tourism is one of the main industries of the country.

Uganda is part of the region of the Great Lakes of Africa. The south of the country includes a large part of Lake Victoria. The country has 10 national parks and about 50 other protected areas. One of these national parks, the famous Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, is home to 300 mountain gorillas, about the half of the world's population of this endangered species. This national park, which covers more than 32 000 hectares in southwestern Uganda, is known for its rich biodiversity with more than 160 species of trees, 100 species of ferns, many species of birds and butterflies, as well as several endangered animal species.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has been on the list of world heritage of UNESCO since 1994. Rwenzori Mountains National Park (one of Africa's most beautiful alpine areas with glaciers, waterfalls, lakes and Africa's third highest peak, Mount Margherita - 5,109 m -) and, as far as culture is concerned, the Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi in Kampala district are also part of the world heritage.

Gorillas are the largest living primates in the world. They feed on plants. They are found only in dense tropical forests in Africa. They live in groups of usually 5 to 10 individuals. Adult male gorillas have silver hair on their backs and therefore are nicknamed "Silverbacks". The dominant male of the group, usually the oldest "Silverback", ensures the cohesion and the tranquility of the group.

Adult males who leave their original group form a new one when they manage to attract females. Females that are banned by their group never stay alone, but join another group. The gorilla is a peaceful animal. When two groups meet, they rarely fight. When threatened, the male Gorilla beats rapidly and makes very loud screaming sounds to scare his enemies.

There are two species of Gorilla: the western gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) found notably in Cameroon, Gabon, and a few other African countries and the eastern gorilla (Gorilla beringei), much more rare than the first. Each species has two subspecies. Mountain gorillas are a subspecies of eastern gorillas. Outside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, they are found in the Virunga Mountains (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda). The other subspecies, the eastern lowland gorilla, is found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Researches of Dian Fossey (1932-1985) who studied gorillas daily in their natural environments greatly contributed to a better understanding of mountain gorillas. Dian Fossey was killed probably by poachers in the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda because she sought to protect this endangered species.

You may want to also see these other beautiful wildlife pictures:

 
Gorilla in Uganda


Lemur in Madagascar


Grizzly bear in Canada


Jaguar in Brazil

The author of the photos. French photographer and wildlife specialist, Marie-France Grenouillet, is the author of the above picture of the Gorilla and several other pictures published in the site Willgoto. Visit her pretty web site http://www.planetstillalive.com that contains countless beautiful pictures of wildlife around the world.

See also:
Picture of the week 1: Bee hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world. It is endemic to Cuba.
Picture of the week 2: Pagoda of the Golden Rock in Myanmar. It is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the world.
Picture of the week 3: Seychelles beach. Seychelles is a perfect destination for a dream holiday.
Picture of the week 4: Lemur of Madagascar (Coquerel's sifaka), an endangered species of primates, which, like all other species of lemurs, is endemic to Madagascar.
Picture of the week 5: World heritage in Cambodia. The temple of Banteay Srei, better known as 'Citadel of the women', in Cambodia is a jewel of Khmer art and a world heritage site.
Picture of the week 6: Bull shark and tiger shark. Both sharks are unfortunately known for fatal attacks on humans. However, experienced divers can approach them and swim with them.
Picture of the week 7: Firewalking in Mauritius. Walking barefoot over a bed of hot embers is an ancestral religious practice.
Picture of the week 8: The flower carpet of the Grand Place in Brussels. This carpet made up of about a million cut flowers is a tourist attraction that takes place every two years.
Picture of the week 9: Giant oceanic manta rays. Video and pictures. The giant oceanic manta ray is a particularly impressive ray that can be up to 7 meters wide and weigh up to two tons.
Picture of the week 10: Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean. Réunion is a dream destination particularly for all outdoor activities, such as hiking, canyoning, paragliding, and many more.
Picture of the week 11: Beaches of Cambodia. Sihanoukville and the small islands off that beach resort offer wonderful opportunities for beach holidays.
Picture of the week 13: Holidays in Cape VerdePictures from a beach in Boa Vista and a mountain village in Santo Antão. The Islands of the archipelago of Cape Verde are indeed very different from each other.

See  all our "Pictures of the week".


 

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You find here nice pictures from gorillas and wildlife. The gorillas and the chimpanzees are genetically the closest living beings to human beings.