What should i do if a Gorilla charges?

What should I do if a Gorilla charges? You simply need to follow a few instructions to be safe since these creatures are not so aggressive. Mountain gorillas are the largest primates and they are normally peaceful, calm and with a charming character which makes them interesting primates to visit while on your safari in Africa. Mountain gorillas in Africa are only found in 4 national parks that is Bwindi Impenetrable national park which harbors half of the gorillas in the world and Mgahinga national park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

What should i do if a Gorilla charges?

Mountain gorillas are herbivores that live in the tropical rainforests and in high altitude or elevation areas in Africa. Mountain gorillas live in groups of 2 to 30 individuals and the group is normally led or dominated by a male gorilla also known as a silverback and composed of female gorillas, juveniles and babies. The silverback determines the feeding time or place of the family and also defends and offers protection of his family in case of insecurity with other gorillas or humans in their presence.

Gorilla trekking in Africa is an activity where visitors move in the dense forests with a park guide or ranger in search of the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and once found travelers will spend one hour in the presence of the mountain gorillas. 

During gorilla trekking you might find when the gorillas are in a bad mood or even seem like a threat to the gorillas and when they detect danger the gorillas can react by making loud grunts, hoots, buoys itself, stands on two hind legs and pounds its chest. Once the threat persists the silverback grabs anything and tears it down as a form of protection to the family. 

Mountain gorillas charge due to various reasons such as loud noises from the visitors, sudden movements while in their presence, direct contact with the gorillas among others which pose as a threat to the family, therefore, end up charging so as to protect the families from strangers, poachers, charge or fight to win females and charge in case they want to break off from the family because any gorilla family cannot have two male gorillas, therefore, they fight for leadership and the winner takes over the family and the defeated goes to form a new family.

What to do if a Gorilla charges?

Mountain gorillas are strong and the silverbacks can do anything to defend and protect their families in case of a threat. Visitors should do the following in case a gorilla charges

  • Crouch dow:n When a gorilla charges during gorilla trekking, it’s advisable to be calm, quiet, respectful and unthreatening by bending down, lowering yourself to the ground and making yourself smaller than the silver. This will show the silverback that you are not a challenger and it will not see any reason to fight you.
  • Walk away steadily: When the gorilla is charged, you are advised not to run away because the gorilla will run after you and attack you rather you are advised to create distance between you and the gorilla without making sudden movements, step back slowly and get off the scene. You can also fall down on the ground to indicate that it has already defeated you or look disinterested by pretending to do your own work like relaxing or looking at the trees.
  • Follow your guide what he /she tells you: Before starting trekking in the jungle, visitors are briefed at the starting point about the expectations, dos and don’ts while with the gorillas in the wild. Visitors going for gorilla trekking in any of the national park go with an armed park ranger who will tell them what to do while in the presence of the gorilla family. Park rangers understand their moods and know the irritation level and temperament of each gorilla family therefore Visitors are advised on how to behave in case the gorillas become wild while in their presence.
  • Never look directly into the Gorilla eyes: Gorillas are shy primates and after charging visitors should not look directly into the gorillas’ eyes because it shows that you are ready to challenge the gorilla therefore the gorilla will attack you. Visitors are therefore advised not to look directly into their eyes but rather pretend to be disinterested and start doing your own work.
  • Show your teeth and shout back: Showing of your teeth and shouting back to a charged gorilla is done in case you are very close to a gorilla with no chance of stepping back. You will be advised to scream or shout loud and thump your chest just like the charged gorilla and the shouting will scare away the gorilla and also show that you are another wild gorilla. 
  • Pretend to be an ape: When you have tried all other options and nothing seems to be working out, be brave and behave like another ape in the wild by coming towards a charged gorilla, start plucking leaves, breaking and chewing vegetation, napping on the ground to show the gorilla that you are not hostile and aggressive.
  • Keep Distance: While trekking gorilla families in the jungle, visitors should keep 7 meters distance from the gorillas and shouldn’t touch them except when they touch you because they are wild animals and getting close to them will make them charge and might hurt or fight you while trying to defend themselves and their families
What should i do if a Gorilla charges?
Charged Gorilla

There are few cases of gorillas attacking visitors during gorilla trekking and when all the rules and regulations for gorilla trekking activity are followed such as avoiding flashlight cameras when taking photos, not raising your arms in front of a charged gorilla, keeping a low tone while in the jungle, keeping 7 meters distance while in the presence of the gorilla families among others. By doing all this, the gorillas will not pay attention to you during trekking which will make the gorilla trekking tour in Africa successful, fascinating and unforgettable.

Mountain gorilla trekking tours in Bwindi national park, Mgahinga national park, Volcanoes national park, and Virunga mountain park offer amazing, interesting and exciting experiences with lifetime memories and this cannot be found elsewhere in the world.

What should i do if a Gorilla charges? Follow the above instructions and you will be safe.

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