Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Silverback Mountain Gorillas - About Silverbacks



About the Silverback Gorilla

Silverback gorillas are the giant male gorillas with a strong
physique and stronger muscles but the defining feature about the silverbacks is their silver hair at the back stretching to the hips. A silverback is always the leader of the family and usually, this comes at a price; he has to prove his status by putting off several contenders through serious fights that at times, turn out fatal!
What do silverbacks eat?
giant silverback gorilla in Bwindi
A Silverback in Bwindi
Like other gorillas, the silverbacks are herbivores and feed on plant leaves, tree roots and fruits. For protein supplements, they feed on safari ants. A silverback eats between 18kgs to 25kgs per day and weighs between 180kgs to 250kgs on average.
Where do silverbacks sleep?
They sleep in nests. Gorillas sleep in nests and each individual makes its own nest every evening where it sleeps and never returns to the same nest even if they spend another night in the same site. It instead makes a new nest next to the old one!
How about Solitary Silverbacks?
Some gorillas are not happy about sharing their females. The dominant male takes the females and as he produces male gorillas, he chases them out of the group, forcing them into a solitary life. During their solitary existence, silverbacks feed intensively and exercise to gain more strength to attack a social group with a weak leader.

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If a leader of the social group defeats the silverback, it returns to its solitary life and does more intensive training. With a bit of luck, it may also grab one or two females from the group with whom he may decide to start his own family. However, if he succeeds and beats the leader of the social group, he takes over the group and kills all the young males in it including the breastfeeding ones so that it can begin its new family without any threats!
Planning a visit to the gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda? Get in touch through info@ugandasafaristours.com for advice and help in planning a memorable gorilla safari.