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Western Lowland Gorilla

Western Lowland Gorilla
Western Lowland Gorilla

Animal's Behavior

Gorillas live in groups of seven to eight individuals (including females and youngsters) and one dominant male. The group travels a home range of about 18 miles but may travel greater distances for food. The characteristic chest-thumping displayed by the male is thought to be a bluffing behavior, buying time for the rest of the group to escape into the forest.

Eating Habits

Gorillas consume many different types of plants, small turtles and insects.


Forests and lowland swamps

Conservation Efforts

Carefully bred in zoos to maintain viable genetics, the gorilla is in trouble in the wild. There could be less than 200,000 wild gorillas, and they are vulnerable to disease, deforestation and poaching. Studies are being conducted to help hone conservation strategies to keep the gorilla from becoming extinct.

Animal Facts

  • The male gorilla can be an attentive father, babysitting so the females can forage for food.
  • The western lowland gorilla usually seen in zoos is the smallest of the five subspecies of gorillas.

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Quick Facts

Scientific Name

Gorilla gorilla gorilla


Animalia, Chordata, Mammalia, Primates, Hominidae

Place of Birth

In Africa, Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.


Up to 5.5 feet tall and 400 pounds


Black, grey or reddish-brown. Males develop a silvery color on their backs.


40 Years

Conservation Status


Where to See

Audubon Zoo

Mailing address: Audubon Nature Institute 6500 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA 70118
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