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

56 comments

Nickihermes Celine
Past Member 3 years ago

thank you for sharing 9/7

Marianna B M.

i agree with jan n. just let them be.

Margaret C.
Margaret C.4 years ago

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.

Beryl F.
Beryl Furman4 years ago

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.

Marcillane Basso
Marcillane Basso4 years ago

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

rafael romero
rafael romero4 years ago

poor animals

Isabel Araujo
Isabel Araujo4 years ago

Thank you.

Melinda K.
Past Member 4 years ago

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

sandra m.
Past Member 4 years ago

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

Jan N.
Jan N.4 years ago

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