Mountain gorillas are found in moist and cool mountain climate in Rwanda, Uganda and Zaire. Mountain gorillas mostly survive on plants like thistle, nettles, celery, and bamboo. Mountain gorillas can be said to be the most endangered animal in this world. Scientists now estimate, there are only 600 individuals left. The 2 populations still living consists of 300 each. The poor creatures endangered due habitat loss. World War 1 and World War 2 was somewhat responsible, though poaching was the main reason. Poachers usually look for the baby gorillas, but sometimes even kill the entire family.
In the early part of the twentieth century, hunters and collectors from the US and Europe began to kill or capture mountain gorillas. More than fifty mountain gorillas were taken as "trophies" by the hunters. The civil war broke out in Rwanda in 1960s; it claimed lives of few gorillas as well.
Poachers used to capture animals for food and even the gorillas were caught. The gorillas were killed for their body parts and meat. Heads and hands were sold to tourists as souvenirs. Human settlements and development of big agricultural land by clearing off forests led to loss of their habitats.
Gorilla conservation was started in the 1970s when the Mountain Gorilla Project was established by International Consortium of Conservation Organization. Gorilla tourism was introduced and the local peoples were educated about gorillas.
In the late 1980s, gorillas are considered endangered and different government and non government organizations are trying to protect them and revive them from being extinct.
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