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Gorillas are herbivorous apes inhabiting the forests of central Africa. They are divided into two;

  • Eastern Gorilla
  • Western Gorilla


Gorillas are the most powerful and striking animals not only for their size and force but also their gentle human like behaviour . The DNA of gorillas is similar  to  that  of  humans from  95%-99%.  Gorillas are totally different from monkeys for a variety of reasons, gorillas have got a more developed brain like that of humans, they are larger, have got no tails, they walk upright for a longer period of time . Gorillas are highly intelligent and they use sign language,  they can laugh and the same time be sad, they grieve, and  have a rich emotional live, they develop very strong family  bonds. Gorillas live in groups called troops, they are ground  dwelling and they live in groups of 6-12 with the oldest and  largest silverback leading a family of females. The silverback  makes decisions on when his group wakes up, sleeps, eats,  moves, and  when to rest night. He protects his family at all   times from the enemies. The silverback tends to be very aggressive. Gorillas construct a nest on where to sleep at night with leaves or any other plant materials. Mother gorillas share nests with their nursing infants. Young ones tend to leave their family as they grow older.

Each time of the day has its purpose for a troop of gorillas. Mornings and evenings are feeding time. In the middle of the  day gorillas take a nap, play with one another or groom one another.  At night gorillas settle down in   beds made of leaves and twigs.


Gorillas are generally herbivores and usually their diet depends on where they live.  Mountain gorillas mostly eat foliage, such as leaves,  stems,  pith, shoots, fruits, veins, tree pulp, celery, tree  bark, roots. They basically eat vegetation.

Gorillas lifespan is normally between 35- 40 years. Zoo gorillas may live 50 years or even more.


Gorillas are the largest primates. They are stock animals with broad chest and shoulders, larger hands and fore arms that are much shorter than the upper arm. The face is black and hairless  with small eyes that are close together and a large prominent nostrils.

Adults are called silverbacks with an area of white hair on their back. Adult males are identified by a sagittal crest along the midline of the skull.

Gorillas have got patchy distribution.

Gorilla infants are helpless at birth and weigh 3–4 lbs. They learn to crawl  about 2 months and walk by the time they are 8-9 months. Gorilla mothers nurse their babies up to 3–4 years.


Mating season: Thought out  the  year.

Gestation  period;    8 – 5 months.


  • Mountain Gorillas live in Uganda, Rwanda, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and on green and also in the volcanic mountains. Mountain gorillas are the most common specie habituated for tourism. Travelers can visit the habituated families on gorilla safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo.
  • Eastern Lowland gorillas live in Eastern Congo – Kahuzi Biega National Park and Maiko National Park
  • Western Lowland  gorillas  are found with in 6 countries and live with the  forests of  central  and  Western  Africa.


The classification or taxonomy of gorillas according to the Integrated Taxonic Information System (ITIS) is as follows:

Kingdom:    Animalia

Sub kingdom   :  Bilateria

Infra kingdom  :  Deuterostomia

Phylum : Chordata

Sub phylum : Vertebrata

Infra phylum  : Gnathostomata

Super  class  : Tetrapoda

Class  : Mammalia

Sub class : Theria

Infra class : Eutheria

Order :  Primates

Sub order  : Haplorrhini

Infra order :  Simiiformes

Super family  : Hominoidea

Family  :  Hominidae

Sub  family : Homininae

Genus and  species: Gorilla  gorilla, Gorilla  beringei

Sub  species : Gorilla  gorilla  gorilla ( Western  lowland  gorilla)

  • Gorilla gorilladiehli  (  Cross River gorilla)
  • Gorilla  beringei  graueri  (  Eastern  lowland  gorilla )
  • Gorilla  beringei beringei  (  Mountain  gorilla)