The Case Of Inbreeding Between Mountain Gorillas

Researchers studying mountain gorillas have finally been able to conduct DNA genome sequencing that reveals inbreeding has actually had benefits for the endangered species. This means future travelers can also look forward to witnessing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

The recent scientific study is co-authored by Aylwyn Scally, at the Department of Genetics at the University of Cambridge, and Yali Xue, of the Sanger Institute. The study showed that even though the mountain gorillas are forced to breed within a small population, and with close relatives, they do not appear suffered genetically from the practice. Normally, if a species is full of inbred individuals, it reduces their ability to avoid detrimental mutations, but this problem has not appeared in the small population of gorillas at this point in time.

Travel to See Mountain Gorillas

Due to the popularity of the movie “Gorillas in the Mist” ,which highlighted the story of the scientist, Diane Fossey who studied mountain gorillas in Rwanda and the Congo, many holiday goers desire to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitats.

Since there are only a few hundred mountain gorillas in existence, any tour to witness these creatures must be carefully planned and organized. There are, however, tour groups in the Rwanda region that offer a chance to travel to see them.

The tour groups will handle all of the necessary arrangements for tourists who wish to head to this area of the world to catch a glimpse of the mountain gorillas. The tours, however, are very physically challenging and require that you travel over very hilly and muddy areas with lots of dense vegetation, so it is required that the tour goers be physically fit to go on this type of adventure tour.

Mountain Gorillas Population Low, But Stable

The recent study of the mountain gorillas came from animals living in the Rwanda area, as well as in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. It gives hope that this endangered species will continue to thrive in small groups for hundreds of years to come, as the study shows that this has been the case in the past. It is thought that the discovery of inbreeding has helped to get rid of several harmful genetic mutations. Although the population is low, it appears to be stable.

According to the researchers, if the mountain gorillas are able to maintain these populations, they should be able to continue to survive. In order to do so, they must not be forced into groups of smaller numbers, which can be caused by loss of habitat, poaching, and other issues.

The beauty of nature is often times forgotten. Travel close to it to experience adventure like never before: