7 Things We Gorillas Want You To Know!
But we thought we should share 7 fun facts, so you can look smarter than the other gorilla… uh, human:
Bananas! For some reason, humans love to think that we eat bananas. Where we live in Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo, though, we don’t have bananas! We do consume a plant-based diet, but it’s all leaves, roots, bamboo, bark, and sometimes some fruits or flowers. (And did you know all these foods also stain our teeth black?)
Aggression: We heard that there was a “movie” (whatever that is) that showed a huge, violent gorilla. Not true! While we will protect our babies and ourselves if we are provoked, we’re mostly shy and prefer to eat, groom, and play amongst ourselves.
Poaching: A lot of humans think that poachers are our biggest danger — but not anymore. Thanks to the amazing gorilla trackers, it’s actually very rare that we get caught in a trap. The Fossey Fund and Rwandan park rangers remove around 700 to 1,000 traps a year, and thanks to that, there have only been 1 or 2 instances of gorillas getting caught in traps since 2015. Whew!
Living on Ellen’s Campus?: At first, we thought we’d want to live on the new Campus coming to the Fossey Fund. But then we realized… we’re wild Mountain Gorillas! And it isn’t a sanctuary! So no — there won’t be any gorillas at the Campus. We’re going to continue to live in the wild, and you humans can learn about us and help create more conservationists at your Campus. (Thank you, by the way.) Learn more >
Extinction. The fact that scares us gorillas the most is that we’re still nearly extinct. There are only about 1,000 mountain gorillas left on the whole planet — that means for every ONE of us, there are almost 8,000,000 of you humans, and you probably have more Facebook friends. Whoa! Although our population is growing — we were even recently classified up to “endangered” status — we are still in critical trouble, from a wide range of threats — conflict, disease, human overpopulation, climate change, and more. We really, really need your help!
Why Gorillas?: Um, do you really need to ask? Look at us! Besides the fact that you’re kind of cute (if somewhat hairless), we share 98% of the same DNA, live in tight communities, love and protect our families, and feel joy, fear and sorrow just like you. We really feel connected to you humans.
How to Help. We get asked all the time how you humans can help. A big thing is to support gorilla research and protection through your donations. It’s also really helpful for you to spread the word about us on social media and to your friends. And don’t forget you can always learn more, read books, even watching movies like Gorillas in the Mist, NatGeo’s The Lost Gorillas of the Virunga, or the Virunga: Gorillas in Peril can help. Get Involved >
So, to recap: We’re non-aggressive, live in the forest and not that new Campus, eat bamboo but not bananas, are mostly protected from poaching but are still in grave danger of extinction… and we need your help.
We’re the last 1,000 mountain gorillas left. Can we count on you?