Gorillas are endangered species that are constantly under threat from disease and commercial hunting. Their importance is further enhanced by the fact that they are close relatives to humans, sharing around 98 percent of the same DNA. Learn more by reading our list of gorilla facts.
• There are only about 700 mountain gorillas and they live high in the mountains in two protected parks in Africa. Lowland gorillas live in central Africa.
• You may have seen baby gorillas being carried on the back of their mothers, but for the first few months after birth the mother holds the baby gorilla to her chest.
• An adult male gorilla is called a silverback because of the distinctive silvery fur growing on their back and hips. Each gorilla family has a silverback as leader who scares away other animals by standing on their back legs and beating their chest!
• Young male gorillas usually leave their family group when they are about 11 years old and have their own family group by the age of 15 years old. Young female gorillas join a new group at about 8 years old.
• Gorillas are herbivores. They spend most of their day foraging for food and eating bamboo, leafy plants and sometimes small insects. Adult gorillas can eat up to 30 kilograms of food each day.
• An adult gorilla is about 1 meter tall to their shoulders when walking on all fours using their arms and their legs.
• A gorilla can live for 40 – 50 years.
• Gorillas are considered to be very intelligent animals. They are known for their use of tools and their varied communication. Some gorillas in captivity at a zoo have been taught to use sign language.
• Gorillas are endangered animals. Their habitat is destroyed when people use the land for farming and the trees for fuel. Gorillas are also killed by poachers and sometimes get caught in poacher’s snares meant for other animals.