- black backs/blackbacks
Hello everyone. Today I’m going to talk about a project I’ve done about the mountain gorilla. I think it’s a truly fascinating animal. They originate in Africa – Central Africa, in fact.
So now I’m going to talk a little about where they live. As you can probably guess, and as you can see in this first photo, their name reflects the environment they live in – tropical mountain forests.
Now just like all other apes, they build nests out of leaves. But they don’t make their nests high up as other species do – mountain gorillas make them on the ground instead. And they sleep wherever they end their day and they rarely sleep in the same bed twice!
So, I’ll move on to talk about the physical features of the mountain gorilla. In other words, what it looks like. So here are some more photographs on screen for you all to have a look at. This gorilla here on the left is a male gorilla. We know that he’s an older male gorilla because of the colour of his coat. As you can see, his coat is grey. He’s called a silverback. Younger male gorillas are called black backs. And there’s an obvious reason for that! Yes, a young adult male has a black coat. As he gets older, his coat turns from black to grey.
Next, I’m going to tell you a little about the diet of the mountain gorilla. Interestingly, mountain gorillas are herbivores. In other words, they survive on a diet of plants. As you can see from this next picture, this gorilla is eating leaves. They also eat fruit and flowers. They occasionally eat insects too, but only when they’re very hungry! And it might interest you to know that mountain gorillas very rarely drink water, even though they live in a very warm climate. It appears they get all the water they need from plants.
I’d like to conclude by talking about some of the threats that mountain gorillas face. They are in serious danger of disappearing from our world altogether. Let’s have a look at two reasons why they’re in such danger. And both of these reasons are connected to human activity. Firstly, people are damaging the mountain forests where these gorillas live. They’re cutting down the trees to build farms and towns. Mountain gorillas live in close family groups and this means that it’s difficult for them to get enough to eat in the small areas they now have to live in. Secondly, gorillas are also suffering as a result of hunting. Sadly, some people find and kill them to sell. So it’s a very sad situation indeed for these beautiful animals.