Thursday, April 5, 2012

Predatory Behavior

Gorillas’ main food source consists of plants, fruits, and ants. Therefore, Gorillas aren’t really known as predators. However, the Silverbacks in the troop are usually more aggressive, as their role is to protect the rest of the group. Silverbacks need to gain experience before they can fully protect their troops, and tend to live by themselves for a few years before developing and securing a group of their own. They tend to be the dominant male and group leader. If there is a threatening situation, the Silverbacks will beat their chest, make loud sounds, and produce a powerful odor that can be smelt from 25 miles away by both humans and animals. Although this is 99% meant as a threat, if needed the Silverbacks will follow through with an attack.
Gorillas have few animal predators in the wild, other than leopards and possibly crocodiles for the lowland gorillas. The real threat to these magnificent animals are humans. In western Africa, gorillas are hunted for meat or “in retaliation for crop raiding,” by poachers, while on the opposite coast, they sometimes accidentally get caught in antelope snares or traps meant for other animals. Sometimes, entire family groups are killed by poachers, who are trying to take the infants for zoos. Although gorillas rarely attack humans, they could easily overtake a person, and in this type of situation, them fighting back is no match for the poachers’ guns.

Gorillas are generally calm animals and not threatened by other primates. They are even unbothered if chimpanzees wander through their troops.



1 comment:

  1. It always makes me sad to see humans as the main predators for different species. While looking at these blogs, I feel like humans are a number one predator for many animals. Although there are times when we justify our ways as population regulation, most species seem to naturally regulate their populations very well unless we have previously caused some imbalance in their habitat or community. It is very disturbing, though, what you said about humans hunting them for meat in retaliation for crop raiding. The animals found a food source and took advantage of it; there is no need for killing because of this.