(Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

Gorillas are the largest great apes in the world. They live together in large family groups that are led by a silverback. Gorillas come in two different types, the western and eastern gorillas with two subspecies. Admire the western lowland gorilla in Zoo Berlin.


Central Africa:

Evergreen flat and swamp forests

Leaves, pulp stalks, bark, tubers, grasses, fruits

Approx. 95,000

1 to 1.70 metres

60 to 180 kg

Gestation time:
8.5 to 9 months

Achievable age
Up to 35 years in the wild, up to 50 years in human care

What you should know about the gorilla
Gorillas are herbivores. The western lowland gorillas live in western central Africa (e.g. Cameroon, Dem. Rep. Kongo) and seek their food in forests. They form groups here, consisting of one male, the silver back, his females and their joint offspring.

Silver is power

The fur of the male turns silvery grey when they are fully grown. Compared to the eastern gorillas, the silver coat of the western lowland gorillas covers the hips and the thighs. The silverbacks are the leaders of the gorilla group and defend their extended family from outside.

How many gorillas are left?
The last population number estimates of western lowland gorillas indicated approx. 95,000 individuals in existence. In the meantime, unfortunately, we have to assume that the number of the wild animals has decreased dramatically due to the continuous deforestation, the hunt for their meat and the Ebola virus.

Is it true, that …?

Human babies are weaned off breast feedings after 6 to 12 months on average in our western society. Even though the pregnancy period of humans and gorillas are almost the same at nine months, breastfeeding in large primates lasts approx. six times as long as their gestation period, so around four years!