Why Gorillas form groups
Just like people, Gorillas also form groups. Gorillas are social animals that usually form harems: One silver back male lives together with several adult females and their offspring. However, in mountain gorillas about 40% of groups contain several adult males who are closely related.
Mountain gorilla males occasionally form all-male groups. The size of gorilla groups is very variable. An average gorilla family contains 4 to 10 members. The biggest gorilla group known to date was found in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National park. It consisted of 65 gorilla members for a short period.
When the gorilla leader dies, another subordinate silver back male takes over the responsibilities, usually the son of the dead leader.
Below are some of the reasons why Gorillas form families:
For Security reasons – Gorillas stay together in groups to overpower enemies. Under the leadership of a mature male Gorilla known as silver back. Other Gorilla members attack the enemy as one.
Companion ship – Male Gorillas form groups together with females to ease reproduction. The new born babies join the group to make the family bigger.
For leader ship reasons – Male Gorillas form groups to lead as his subjects. Gorillas groups are lead by a dominant male silver back.
To develop a sense of belonging – each gorilla belongs to a certain group and when any gorilla especially males are chased from group A; he join another group.
Proper nurturing of young Gorillas – the female Gorillas takes care of the young ones as the male offers security.
Training ground - Gorillas are closely related to humans and are considered highly intelligent. A few individuals in captivity have been taught a sub set of sign language. Gorillas are now known to use tools in the wild. Gorillas spend each night in new constructed nest which are near each other for security reasons.
Proper feeding – Male gorillas are entitled to look for sources of food for the entire group. Once they discover food, the entire family moves to feed.
Visitors on Uganda Gorilla trips find it amazing to encounter different Gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National park.