Parc National des Virungas, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National park (all UNESCO World Heritage sites) are home to an estimated 700 mountain gorillas.
They are the rarest of the great apes. Mountain gorillas have slow rate of reproduction. A male reaches sexual maturity at between 12 and 15 years old, when he is in charge of his own group. Females give birth for the first time at about the age of 10 and will have more offspring every three or four years. The female is able to conceive for only about three days each month, and she produces a single young and in rare cases twins.
The eastern lowland gorilla is the largest subspecies of the world’s largest living primate.
The maximum size of a male eastern lowland gorilla can be over 250 kilograms (550 lb) and, when standing fully erect, can grow to a height of over 2 metres (6.6 ft) in the wild, with much heavier weights recorded in captivity.