Mountain gorilla reproduction & mating habits
Mountain gorilla reproduction & mating habits : Female mountain gorillas reach sexual maturity before male gorillas and they mature between the ages of 10 to 12 years old whilst males reach sexual maturity from 11 to 13 years of age. Though females mature earlier, they can have their first ovulation circle at 8 years and they do not breed until they are 10 years and above. Female gorillas produce 1 offspring per delivery and sometimes produce twins; the recurring productive cycle is 28-33 days. After the first ovulation circle, mountain gorillas have to wait for a two years period to breed an infant.
Gorillas are polygamous animals, the dominating silverback can access all the females in the group, when the females are on heat they follow up the male gorilla and there is always no physical evidence showing that they are on heat. Female mountain gorillas go on heat only for 1 to 2 days in a month and here they attract the males through some body movements, approaching the silverback with uninterrupted eye contacts and puckering lips and if the male is not reacting they reach an extent of even touching him or even hit the ground in order to seek for attention from the male gorilla.
Gorillas can mate anytime of the year and the gestation period is 8.5 months also just like humans and they mostly produce during night time. After delivery, a gorilla will take 4years or more to conceive again hence they have low birth rates. Infant gorillas are born weighing 2-3 kilograms and vulnerable just like the human babies, when they are born the mother caries and has to take good care of them until the 3 months when they can sit upright and can walk on their own at 6 months though they mostly clip on their mothers backs all the time.
Mountain gorillas are greatly endangered species of primates spread across four national parks in Africa that is Virunga national park, Volcanoes national park, Mgahinga national park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. These parks straddle within Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. All the above mentioned national parks offer visitors a unique wilderness experience with the great apes, gorilla trekking is the most expensive tourist activity in Africa yet the most fascinating and thrilling experience worth a life time. You will have an hour of observation immediately after finding gorillas during the trek. The cost of gorilla trekking defers from each country, Uganda charges $600, and Congo charges $400 per person and Rwanda offering the most expensive at $1500 per person.