Golden Monkeys In Mgahinga National Park
Amidst the fascinating experience of Uganda gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National Park, the visitors on a Uganda tour to Mgahinga will also have a chance of encountering the golden monkeys. The golden monkey is a very rare monkey species found only in the Bamboo Forests of the Virunga Volcanoes – nowhere else in the world and holds a conservation status of endangered.
These beautiful creatures live in large groups of up to 62 individuals and are quite playful and fascinating to watch. The group is led by a dominant male and ultimately the commander in chief. Female golden monkeys look more golden and absolutely gorgeous with faces scribbled with natural innocence.
Masters of foraging in the bamboo and the unspoiled highland vegetation, golden monkeys are skilled climbers and can swing from branch to branch with ultimate ease.
They swing their long tails of about 72 centimeters, balance in space as they land on branches with the aid of both their feet and arms that have gripping abilities. Through natural adaptation, they swiftly navigate through thick bamboo in an indescribable manner.
They are predominantly vegetarian but they have to eat insects and reportedly moles to supplement their diet.
Elements of their menu are wild coffee, bamboo shoots, bamboo leaves, bamboo fungi, and red-hot poker flower, shoots among other plant species. They dwell on soft branches usually proximate to their feeding territories.
Golden monkeys have natural predators such as African Golden Cats, Serval Cats, and African Crowned Eagles. Eagles target golden monkey babies; this aerial predator strikes terror among them and the descent to the lower branches ensues.
In a bid to protect little ones, adult golden monkeys hug and hold on to their babies to repel the imminent danger. This is an amazing display of survival instincts.
The golden monkey population is estimated at around 3000-4000 individuals in the Virunga area which 42-60 are habituated in Uganda’s Mgahinga park.