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Adrian Torres
Adrian Torres

Gorilla Facts: Learn About the Largest and Smartest Apes

Gorillas: The Gentle Giants of the Forest


What are gorillas? Why are they important? What are the main facts about them?


Types of Gorillas

How many species and subspecies of gorillas are there? Where do they live? What are their differences?

Eastern Gorillas

What are the characteristics of eastern gorillas? What are their two subspecies?

Eastern Lowland Gorillas

Where do they live? How many are left? What are their threats?

Mountain Gorillas

Where do they live? How many are left? What are their threats?

Western Gorillas

What are the characteristics of western gorillas? What are their two subspecies?

Western Lowland Gorillas

Where do they live? How many are left? What are their threats?

gorilla facts and information

gorilla conservation and threats

gorilla behavior and social structure

gorilla habitat and distribution

gorilla diet and nutrition

gorilla anatomy and physiology

gorilla intelligence and communication

gorilla evolution and taxonomy

gorilla tourism and ecotourism

gorilla tracking and trekking

gorilla vs chimpanzee comparison

gorilla silverback characteristics

gorilla baby development

gorilla mating and reproduction

gorilla population and status

gorilla adaptations and survival

gorilla diseases and health

gorilla genetics and diversity

gorilla culture and learning

gorilla personality and emotions

gorilla rescue and rehabilitation

gorilla sanctuaries and zoos

gorilla myths and legends

gorilla art and photography

gorilla documentaries and films

eastern lowland gorilla facts

western lowland gorilla facts

mountain gorilla facts

cross river gorilla facts

grauer's gorilla facts

eastern lowland gorilla conservation

western lowland gorilla conservation

mountain gorilla conservation

cross river gorilla conservation

grauer's gorilla conservation

eastern lowland gorilla habitat

western lowland gorilla habitat

mountain gorilla habitat

cross river gorilla habitat

grauer's gorilla habitat

eastern lowland gorilla diet

western lowland gorilla diet

mountain gorilla diet

cross river gorilla diet

grauer's gorilla diet

eastern lowland gorilla behavior

western lowland gorilla behavior

mountain gorilla behavior

Cross River Gorillas

Where do they live? How many are left? What are their threats?

Gorilla Behavior

How do gorillas communicate? How do they socialize? How do they use tools?

Gorilla Communication

What are the vocalizations and gestures that gorillas use to express themselves?

Gorilla Socialization

How do gorillas form groups? What are the roles of males and females? How do they care for their young?

Gorilla Tool Use

What are some examples of tools that gorillas make and use in the wild?

Gorilla Conservation

Why are gorillas endangered? What are the main threats to their survival? What are some efforts to protect them?

Gorilla Threats

What are the human activities that harm gorillas and their habitat?

Gorilla Protection

What are some organizations and initiatives that work to save gorillas and their habitat?


What is the main message of the article? Why should people care about gorillas? How can they help?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long do gorillas live?

  • How strong are gorillas?

  • How smart are gorillas?

  • How can I see gorillas in the wild?

  • How can I adopt a gorilla?

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Gorillas are amazing animals that share many human-like behaviors and emotions, such as laughter and sadness. In fact, gorillas share 98.3% of their genetic code with humans, making them our closest cousins after chimpanzees and bonobos. Gorillas are the largest of the great apes, with males weighing up to 440 pounds and standing as tall as an average human. Gorillas live in the tropical forests of central Africa, where they face many threats to their survival. In this article, we will explore the wonderful world of gorillas, their types, behavior, and conservation.

Types of Gorillas

There are two species of gorillas: eastern and western. Each species splits into two subspecies, with different characteristics and habitats. The four gorilla subspecies are eastern lowland gorillas, mountain gorillas, western lowland gorillas, and cross river gorillas. Here is a table that summarizes some of their features:

SubspeciesScientific NameDistributionPopulationStatus

Eastern Lowland GorillaGorilla beringei graueriEastern Democratic Republic of Congo3,800Critically Endangered

Mountain GorillaGorilla beringei beringeiRwanda, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of Congo1,063Endangered

Western Lowland GorillaGorilla gorilla gorillaAngola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon100,000 to 200,000 (estimate)Critically Endangered

Cross River GorillaGorilla gorilla diehliNigeria and Cameroon300 (estimate)Critically Endangered

Eastern Gorillas

The eastern gorillas are the largest of the four subspecies. They have dark brown or black fur, long arms, and a stocky body. They live in high-altitude forests and lowland swamps in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They feed mainly on leaves, stems, fruits, and insects. They have two subspecies: eastern lowland gorillas and mountain gorillas.

Eastern Lowland Gorillas

The eastern lowland gorillas are also known as Grauer's gorillas. They are the most populous of the four subspecies, with about 3,800 individuals left in the wild. They live in lowland forests and swamps in eastern DRC. They are threatened by habitat loss due to mining, agriculture, logging, and human settlement. They are also hunted for bushmeat and captured for the illegal pet trade.

Mountain Gorillas

The mountain gorillas are the most famous of the four subspecies. They live in high-altitude forests in Rwanda, Uganda, and DRC. They have thicker fur than other gorillas to cope with the cold climate. They are the only subspecies that has increased in number in recent years, thanks to intensive conservation efforts. There are now 1,063 mountain gorillas in the wild. However, they still face threats from poaching, disease, habitat loss, and human conflict.

Western Gorillas

The western gorillas are smaller than the eastern gorillas. They have lighter brown or gray fur, shorter arms, and a more slender body. They live in lowland forests and swamps in west and central Africa. They feed mainly on fruits, leaves, stems, and insects. They have two subspecies: western lowland gorillas and cross river gorillas.

Western Lowland Gorillas

. They are threatened by habitat loss due to logging, agriculture, and human settlement. They are also hunted for bushmeat and captured for the illegal pet trade. They are vulnerable to diseases such as Ebola, which has killed thousands of gorillas in recent outbreaks.

Cross River Gorillas

The cross river gorillas are the rarest of the four subspecies. They live in a small area of forest along the border of Nigeria and Cameroon. They are estimated to number only about 300 individuals in the wild. They are threatened by habitat loss due to farming, logging, and road construction. They are also hunted for bushmeat and killed by farmers who see them as crop raiders.

Gorilla Behavior

Gorillas are highly intelligent and social animals that have complex communication and socialization skills. They also use tools to help them obtain food and water. Let's take a closer look at how gorillas behave in the wild.

Gorilla Communication

Gorillas communicate with each other using a variety of vocalizations and gestures. Some of the sounds they make include grunts, barks, roars, hoots, and screams. They use these sounds to express their emotions, such as anger, fear, excitement, or contentment. They also use these sounds to coordinate their movements, warn each other of danger, or challenge rivals. Gorillas also communicate with their body language, such as facial expressions, eye contact, postures, and gestures. For example, they may beat their chests to show dominance or strength, or they may stick out their tongue to show playfulness or submission.

Gorilla Socialization

Gorillas live in groups called troops or bands. A typical group consists of one dominant male (called a silverback), several females, and their offspring. The silverback is the leader and protector of the group. He decides where to go, where to feed, and where to rest. He also mediates conflicts and defends the group from predators or other gorillas. The females are responsible for caring for their young. They nurse them for about three years and teach them how to survive in the forest. The young gorillas play with each other and learn from their elders. Gorillas are very affectionate and loyal to their group members. They groom each other, hug each other, and share food with each other.

Gorilla Tool Use

Gorillas are one of the few animals that can make and use tools in the wild. They use tools to help them obtain food and water that are otherwise inaccessible. For example, they may use sticks to poke into termite mounds or ant nests and then lick the insects off the sticks. They may also use sticks to measure the depth of water before crossing a river or swamp. Gorillas may also use stones to crack open nuts or shells. Gorillas may also use leaves as napkins to wipe their mouths or as cups to drink water from. These examples show that gorillas have a high level of intelligence and problem-solving skills.

Gorilla Conservation

Gorillas are endangered animals that need our help to survive. They face many threats from human activities that destroy their habitat and harm their lives. However, there are also many efforts to protect them and their habitat from further damage. Let's see what are the main challenges and solutions for gorilla conservation.

Gorilla Threats

The main threats to gorillas are habitat loss, poaching, disease, and human conflict. Habitat loss is caused by logging, mining, agriculture, and human settlement that clear large areas of forest for human use. This reduces the space and resources available for gorillas and fragments their population into isolated patches. Poaching is the illegal hunting of gorillas for bushmeat or for the pet trade. This reduces their population size and disrupts their social structure. Disease is another major threat to gorillas, especially Ebola virus, which can kill up to 95% of infected gorillas. Human conflict is another factor that affects gorillas negatively. Civil wars, political instability, and armed militias can cause violence and displacement in gorilla habitats. This can result in direct killing of gorillas or indirect impacts such as reduced conservation efforts or increased poaching.

Gorilla Protection

There are many organizations and initiatives that work to protect gorillas and their habitat from further decline. Some of these include:

  • The International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) is a coalition of three organizations: Fauna & Flora International, the World Wide Fund for Nature, and the African Wildlife Foundation. It works to conserve the mountain gorillas and their habitat in Rwanda, Uganda, and DRC. It supports anti-poaching patrols, community development, ecotourism, and research.

  • The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI) is an organization that continues the legacy of the famous primatologist Dian Fossey, who dedicated her life to studying and protecting the mountain gorillas. It operates the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda, where it conducts scientific research, monitors gorilla health, and educates local people. It also supports conservation efforts in DRC and other countries where gorillas live.

  • The Gorilla Organization (GO) is an organization that works to save the world's last remaining gorillas from extinction. It operates projects in Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, Cameroon, and Nigeria. It focuses on community-led conservation, education, health care, and sustainable development.

  • The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is a global organization that works to conserve nature and reduce the threats to wildlife. It supports various projects to protect gorillas and their habitat in Africa. It works with governments, communities, businesses, and other partners to promote sustainable forest management, combat poaching and illegal trade, and raise awareness.


Gorillas are amazing animals that deserve our respect and admiration. They are not only our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, but also gentle giants that have a rich culture and intelligence. However, gorillas are endangered by human activities that destroy their habitat and harm their lives. We need to act now to save them and their forest home from further decline. By supporting conservation efforts, reducing our environmental impact, and spreading awareness, we can make a difference for gorillas and ourselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long do gorillas live?Gorillas can live up to 40 years in the wild and up to 50 years in captivity.

  • How strong are gorillas?Gorillas are very strong animals that can lift up to 10 times their body weight. They use their strength to defend themselves and their group from predators or rivals.

  • How smart are gorillas?Gorillas are very smart animals that have a high level of intelligence and problem-solving skills. They can communicate with vocalizations and gestures, use tools to obtain food and water, learn from observation and imitation, and even understand some human language.

  • How can I see gorillas in the wild?You can see gorillas in the wild by joining a guided tour or safari in one of the countries where they live. You will need to obtain a permit and follow strict rules to ensure your safety and respect for the gorillas. You can also support ecotourism projects that benefit local communities and conservation efforts.

  • How can I adopt a gorilla?You can adopt a gorilla by donating money to one of the organizations that work to protect them. You will receive a certificate, a photo, and updates on your adopted gorilla. You will also help fund conservation projects that protect gorillas and their habitat.


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