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Mountain Gorillas: The Rules of Engagement (Video)

Mountain Gorillas: The Rules of Engagement (Video)

 

Written by the Deadly 60 Team

Mountain gorillas are endangered, with only 786 individuals left in the world. Visiting them can be an incredible experience, as Steve found out when he traveled to the forests of Uganda.

Gorillas are one of our closest relatives. They may be powerful, but they are also intelligent and shy. If, like Steve, you visit mountain gorillas, you need to be respectful. Here are some things to consider.

• Small groups: Gorillas are social primates living in complex groups. Only a few people at a time can visit them for short periods. Large groups of people would cause too much disturbance and risk stressing the animals.

• Stay quiet: You’ll also need to keep your voices low. Gorillas use vocalisations to communicate — loud noise and chatting might confuse the animals or make them anxious.

• Gorillas and humans, share 98% of their genes. This means they may be vulnerable to the same diseases as us. If you’re feeling ill or have a cold you’ll risk passing on your infection.

• Keeping clean: To reduce contamination and the spread of disease, the team also washed their hands before seeing the gorillas and weren’t allowed to smoke, drink or eat.

• It’s advisable to keep a safe distance away from the gorillas. It’s never a good idea to approach or touch a large wild animal. A gorilla might see this as a threat.

• Listen to the guides: Our crew had a team of experienced guides with them at all times; they understand the gorilla’s behaviour and can advise you how to act around them.

This post was originally published by BBCEarth.

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Photo from weesam2010 via flickr creative commons

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56 comments

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4:56AM PDT on Jul 9, 2013

thank you for sharing 9/7

1:31AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

i agree with jan n. just let them be.

2:48PM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

Thank you, Beryl F. Your statement is all too true. Leave them alone, and the rainforests and all animals in the wild. Leave them something and somewhere to be just theirs.

11:32AM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

A very bad message is sent in this article! People SHOULD NOT enter the area of the gorillas at all!!!! - nor any other animals. We should just stay in our fantastic urban worlds, that we have created FOR US and leave the rest of the Earth to all those beautiful creaures.
If the gorillas resemble us, so WHAT!? WHY should that be some kind of a profit???? And, we should put notice to that, that the gorillas are far more valuable lovable=beautiful than we. Why+so? Because they are peaceful and they live in harmony with the nature, and thus sustain life on the Earth, We, the miserable ones, do just the opposite and hope for life is found only where our activities are prevented. And even more, our excistence.

3:51AM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

I think that these animals are so intriging looking, its like they can read your mind.

3:44AM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

poor animals

9:43PM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

Thank you.

6:41PM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

Horrific to read how few their are and their demise has a lot to do with mobile phones

5:43PM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

Great tips to remember if I ever come close to Gorilla's....
I doubt it here.

5:23PM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

How about we don't engage them at all and just let them be?

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