How do Mountain Gorillas Reproduce?

How do mountain gorillas reproduce? or reproduction in gorillas is one of the facts you would love to know about gorillas. Reproduction in gorillas is one key factor to their totals that can lead to either an increase or decline.

Mountain gorillas have a reproduction behavior similar to that of other hominids. Research shows that all subspecies of gorillas share many similarities to each other.

Mountain gorilla
Mountain gorilla

Depending on the gorilla subspecies, the estrous cycle is 28/30-33 days.  The first time a female gorilla becomes sexually active is normally at the age of 10-12 years whereas the males at age 11-13. A female gorilla can have its first ovulatory cycle even during its sixth year of life; however, they cannot start breeding until they are ten years or even older.

Complicated to comprehend as it is, after their first ovulatory cycle, they have to wait for at least a period of two years to breed an infant. It’s only 2 years after their first ovulation that a female gorilla can have the chance to breed an infant. When the female is ready to mate, the male can easily notice her signs of being on heat. Signs, however, are not as evident as it is like in other apes.

When ready to mate, there is no mating season and this can happen at any time of the year. When this time comes the female separates from the born troop and starts to search for a sex partner or silverback gorilla from another group.

To attract the males, females use body movements with leisurely walks to the male maintaining uninterrupted eye contact as she waits for the male to take action. If no action is taken by the male she can even get closer and touch the male to make him notice her insinuations. When all of these attempts don’t yield results for her, she will most probably hit the ground as a final attempt.

In many cases it’s the females who insinuate males to mate with them however, in case it’s the male who does so, it’s with the same intentions of mating with the female and can attract her by getting closer and touching while emitting sounds.

Do gorillas reproduce sexually?

Wondering how mountain gorillas reproduce, they do reproduce sexually. Usually, it is only the male silverback gorilla that has the right to mate with the females.  Silverback gorillas are elderly gorillas that have developed silver fur on their backs and are mature enough to head the group. In a group that has more than one male, the female can be forced to copulate with more than one male but in most cases, the silverback has the only right to mate with the females in the group.

After courtship gorillas copulate or have sex on the ground. Gorillas have been recorded mating face to face something that was only known to be in humans and bonobos. This proves much more to the relatedness of gorillas to humans.

How many babies do gorillas have?

Similar to humans, female gorillas give birth to one (1) offspring per delivery and rarely produce twins. However, this doesn’t cease the fact that there are twin gorillas in the jungle with twin gorillas in the Oruzogo gorilla family in the Ruhija gorilla sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. To have a glimpse of this family during an Uganda gorilla trekking safari, you can request the Ugandan gorilla Rwanda experts to book a gorilla permit at the Ruhija trailhead and request to trek this group during the time of briefing.

How often do gorillas reproduce?

The gestation period for gorillas is about 8.5 months. Several births are recorded to happen in the night and then after having a lifespan of about 35-40 years. How often gorillas reproduce is mainly about every 4 years with a single birth each time. Unfortunately, about 38-40 percent of the infants die at some point during their first three years of life and this makes the rate of reproduction very low.

At birth, gorillas weigh about 2 kilograms and are fully dependent on their mother’s support. The mother carries her young one which holds on to their mom’s back until they are 3-6 months old as they start to walk. Even after they learn to walk, gorillas are weaned at three (3) years. The bond however continues to exist between the mother and the infant. Male gorillas participate less in the upbringing of the infant gorillas but still interact with the group.

Whether for an Uganda gorilla safari or gorilla tour in Rwanda, having to encounter a birth or any copulation period among the gorillas can be such a memorable time. Just have a chance to learn much more and have life experiences with a well-planned trip by the Ugandan gorilla Rwanda tour experts.

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