Geographic Region: Central, Western Africa
Meaning of name: Greek meaning –Tribe of hairy women
Habitat: Tropical and subtropical forest
Threats: War, Poaching
Left in Wild: 104,260
|Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Walt Disney World|
The gorilla is the largest primate on earth. The DNA of gorillas is 99% similar to humans and they are the third closest relative to humans after the chimpanzee and bonobo.
There are two species of gorillas, the eastern and western. The eastern gorilla is the largest species with the male growing to 1.8 meters tall and weighing over 200 kilograms. They have two sub species called the lowland and mountain gorilla. The western gorilla also has a couple of sub species being the western lowland gorilla and the cross river gorilla.
Gorillas live in groups called troops. Generally a troop is made up of one adult male called a silverback and several females. This differs between species and sub species. For example juvenile male mountain gorillas sometimes stay with their troops into adulthood, being subordinate to the dominant male until he dies, only then can he mate with other females. In a single male troop, when the male dies the females will sometimes disperse into other troops- especially if the females have young as they can then inherit the protection of another troop’s silverback. If young aren’t involved females sometimes wait until a silverback inherits their troop – in short it can be complicated!
Gorillas rarely drink water, their diet can include, leaves, roots and fruit (dependent on species) and generally this diet provides a gorilla’s daily water intake.
|Werribee Open Range Zoo|
|Lunch time at Taronga Zoo|
Werribee Open Range Zoo has a 6,000 square metre enclosure with multiple viewing opportunities to see the western lowland gorilla.
|Disney’s Animal Kingdom|
Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World has a spectacular enclosure within the Pangani Forest Trail. Excellent opportunists to view multiple families of western lowland gorillas.
To find out more about the western lowland gorilla follow the link bellow to a terrific site, documenting two new arrivals at North Carolina Zoo,
Pictures of Gorillas