uganda: gorillas in the mist

Bananas are a staple food in Uganda, often steamed and mashed into matoke. The fruit is harvested green and carefully peeled before cooking. The fruit is also used to make banana beer or wine, or homemade gin called waragi. Uganda is the second largest producer of bananas in the world, with the majority being consumed domestically. As such, Ugandans are the highest per-capita consumers of bananas globally at 0.70 kg daily per person. There are approximately 400 mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, representing about half of the world's remaining population. Poaching has made them an endangered species. A highly sociable animal, mountain gorillas live in groups ranging from five to thirty individuals in size, typically led by a dominant male silverback. Male silverback snacking on fruit. Mountain gorillas are herbivores, with a diet largely consisting of leaves, shoots, and stems of various plants. Male mountain gorillas weigh nearly 200 kg on average. As they age, males develop a saddle of gray hair on their backs, hence the term 'silverback'. Each gorilla can be identified by its unique nose print. All gorillas have brown eyes framed by a black ring around the iris. Mountain gorillas are not territorial. Defense of the group is top priority. Mountain gorillas are diurnal, and forage in the mornings and afternoons, taking breaks around midday. As they roam while foraging, the gorillas spend each evening building new sleeping nests from surrounding vegetation. 

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