Silver back Gorillas in Rwanda

Silver back gorilla in Rwanda

A silver back is a dominant mature male gorilla in a family of Gorillas. Like a father in a home, silver backs take responsibility of heading the gorilla families. It is noted that each gorilla group is led by one silver back who makes Rwanda Gorilla trek amazing.  Some gorilla families  contain more than one silver backs but the strongest takes the headship.  It should be noted that a silver back takes leadership through struggle or fight with other silver backs and the winner takes it all. The struggle for leadership may occur due to death of the elder silver back who has been leading the group or due to high desire for leadership amongst different silver backs in a particular group hence splitting of the group.  Each split group can then be led by one silver back joined by some female and young gorilla members. In Rwanda, gorilla groups which splinted to form other gorilla groups include Karisimbi group which splinted from susa gorilla family, group 13 or Agashya separated from Sabyinyo group, Umubano was formed from Amahoro family after male Charles broke off from the group to form his own Umubano group, Hirwa is also anew group which was formed from two different families, Group 13 and Sabyinyo and Karisimbi gorilla group was formed from Susa.

Duties and responsibilities of a silver back Gorilla

Like a father in a home, silver back gorillas provides security to the every gorilla member and in case of any danger, the silver back is ready to attack the enemy. The silver also mates the female to produce new off springs and is responsible for satisfying the female gorillas sexually. He also builds nests where the group spend each night- every night, anew nest is built.  The silver back search for the source of food and alert the family members. He also help mother gorillas to carry young gorillas. Silver backs also settle down fights  between the group members.

How can i identify silver back gorilla ? Can i be able to see a silver back?

Yes, silver back gorillas are easily seen when visit Rwanda Gorilla groups- this is because each gorilla family is lead by a silver back and gives the first sight to the visitors since he heads other members to find out whether just visitors or attackers. Therefore, visitors are advised to put into consideration the rangers' rules and instructions to avoid being attached by the silver back his  family member.

Silver backs can also be identified by silver colored hair at the back from which the name "silver back" was derived.