Home » Why Can’t Mountain Gorillas Be Kept In Zoos?
Mountain Gorillas only survive in their natural habitats and the only way of catching a glimpse on these elusive giants is by undertaking a gorilla trekking safari to Uganda, Rwanda or Congo. Mountain Gorillas have before gone through numerous attempts to be captivated but attempts failed to keep them in captivity. Many would love to see the Mountain Gorillas on a simple day trip in their nearest zoos but this is not possible. Here is why Mountain Gorillas can’t be kept in zoos.
The most probable reason for Mountain Gorillas not able to survive in Zoos is because of the complex gorilla diet. The dietary needs of a mountain gorilla are too specific based almost exclusively on foliage. Mountain Gorillas are primarily herbivores; the majority of their diet is composed of the leaves, shoots and stems (85.8%) of 142 plant species. It also feeds on bark (6.9%), roots (3.3%), flowers (2.3%), and fruit (1.7%), as well as small invertebrates (0.1%). Adult males can eat up to 34 kilograms (75 lb.) of vegetation a day, while a female can eat as much as 18 kilograms (40 lb.). This rate of consumption and variety in feeds makes it difficult for the gorillas to survive in captivity. Their natural habitat offers a variety of desired feed taken at their own will.
Many mountain gorillas in captivity died of heart disease resulting from obesity. This is so because they feed a lot and do less exercise. This could actually be reason for failure of mountain gorillas to survive in captivity.
The other reason could be stress therefore succumbing to disease more rapidly. For instance, kaboko the male gorilla that survived in Congo died after the outbreak of fights in the country just less than a mile from its residence.
However, the population of Mountain Gorillas is just starting to recover and therefore trying to take them to captivity could seriously harm the population. It could be better to conserve the Mountain Gorillas within their natural habitat and we continue living without any of them in the zoos since we can still see them in the wild.
How To See Mountain Gorillas
Since there no mountain gorillas in captivity the only way of seeing them is by undertaking a gorilla trekking safari. Mountain Gorillas are only existent in three countries and Four National Parks in the whole world. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are the gorilla habitats in Uganda. In Rwanda mountain gorillas are found in Volcanoes National Park and in Virunga National Park in Congo.
To see the elusive gentle giants therefore one has to plan a Uganda gorilla trekking safari, Gorilla safari Rwanda or Congo gorilla trekking safari. Each country has rules guiding the activity with a minimum age being 15 years of age. Mountain gorilla trekking involves hiking since the gorillas survive at an altitude of about 1,190-4,507.
How Much Does It Cost To See Mountain Gorillas?
In Uganda, a gorilla trekking permit for both Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park costs USD 600 per person per trek for foreign non-residents. Foreign residents pay USD 500 for their gorilla trekking permit and Ugandans/East Africans by UGX 250,000 for mountain gorilla trekking.
A Rwanda gorilla trekking permit to Volcanoes National Park costs USD 1500 per person per trek. However, if you visit 3 safari parks in Rwanda, you get a 30% discount for your permit. For instance, if you visited Akagera National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park on a single trip.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a gorilla trekking permit cost USD 400 per person per trek. Last year 2018 low season discounted gorilla trekking permits for Congo gorilla trekking safari tourists at USD 200. This is during the months of March 15th to May 15th and October 15th to December 15th 2018-2019.
Lowland gorilla trekking permits to Kahuzi Biega National Park also go for USD 400 per person per trek.
The acceptable means of payment is cash.
Recommendable Rwanda, Uganda and Congo Gorilla Safari Packages
Gorilla trekking is becoming a popular safari activity entailed in many itineraries to Africa because of the aliveness from the safari. Plan a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda gorilla tour or gorilla trekking safari in Congo and have one of a kind safari. Humans and gorillas have a lot of likeness since we share about 90% of DNA with the species. Tailor the activity to either your Rwanda wildlife safari, wildlife safari in Uganda or Congo wildlife safari and have more of sightings but a lifetime experience.