Mountain gorillas are the most endangered of th

Mountain gorillas are the most endangered of the gorilla species. Approximately 600 or so remain. They are massive in size, with a short, thick trunk and broad chest and shoulders. Its eyes are very small in proportion to its other features. Older males develop longer heads, and are twice the size of females. The most severe threat to mountain gorillas is habitat loss. The fertile volcanic soil of the Virunga Mountains is as highly valued as farm land. Conservation programs have been set up in Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo to lessen trespassing. However, it still poses a major problem. By nature, gorillas are very shy and easy going, and seek no trouble. The only exception to this is if the family group is threatened, the gorilla will bravely defend them. Family groups usually consist of thirty or less members. At least one adult male, and a few females and juveniles. Gorillas continually rove through their home ranges, which are about ten to fifteen square miles. Females give birth at about ten years of age and will have more offspring every three to four years. Males breed between twelve and fifteen years. Females are able to conceive for only three days each month, and will only produce one young. The baby is weaned at about three and a half years of age. In Western Africa gorillas are hunted for meat or in vengeance for crop raiding. In Eastern Africa they have been caught in snares and traps set for other animals. Poachers have wiped out entire families in their attempts to capture infants for zoos, or for their heads and hands which serve as trophies (African Wildlife Foundation, 1-3). Humans and gorillas share a common ancestor. One did not evolve from the other, but rather split evolutionary paths about ten million years ago. George Schaller, a gorilla researcher describes this. No one who looks into a gorillas eyes–intelligent, gentle, vulnerable–can remain unchanged, …

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