What causes separation amongst Gorillas? Why can a gorilla family split?
The information below was compiled by a gorilla researcher known as Michelle, conducted her research with assistance from a group of researchers about the life of mountain gorillas. Mechelle is a senior consultant about Rwanda tours especially about visiting mountain gorillas and Chimpanzees. Her report revealed that gorillas are one of the most feared animals in the world, thanks to movies like King Kong and Congo. While it is true that they are large, powerful creatures, they are also gentle and affectionate.
Mountain gorillas are easygoing vegetarians who lead a peaceful, playful life. Large males patiently allow young gorillas to climb all over them without a murmur of protest, and they are not aggressive toward humans unless they are threatened.
Gorillas stay and move together as a family. Gorilla families are mostly led by a mature male known as silverback. Silverbacks are entitled to safe guard the entire group/ family. However, on rare cases, the female can take control f the group when a silverback has fallen/ died – but this can be for a short period of time until another silverback succeed and take responsibilities of its predecessor.
The Gorilla family can split due to constant disagreements amongst group member – this can be accompanied by fights, quarrels among others. In such situations, some members can decide to form anew group or join another group where they can be secure.
Gorilla groups can split due to constant threats from predators like leopards, lions, and python among others. In the process, some gorillas can leave the insecure place to a safer area hence separation.
Scarcity of food and water – some Gorillas can decide to leave the group to another area with plenty of food. It should be noted that Gorillas are vegetarians so, the feed on fruits, leaves, backs of trees, shouts among others.
Out break of diseases like Ebola, in a given place may force gorillas to move away and in the process, some gorillas may not turn to their original groups but instead join other groups of form new groups.
Out break of pests like mosquitoes, tsetse flies among others. It can force gorillas leave for another area. In the process, some gorillas may leave the group forever.
Power struggles – desire to take control of the group by different male Gorillas – it can cause splitting of the group into new groups under different authorities and control.
Death of a group member – gorillas can walk away from a place their member has died from to anew place but in the process, some gorillas can join other groups.
Poaching or Killing of Gorillas – illegal hunting and killing of gorillas can disorganize the original family set up. In the process of running away for their lives, they may fail to unite again.
Harsh weather like too much rainfall or much sunshine may disorganize the Gorillas’ family set up leading to their separation.
Growth and development – it is a norm that most of the male gorillas form their groups at the maturity level. Like boys at home when they grow mature – most of them leave their fathers’ families and form theirs.