Zoos Victoria

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The Western Lowland Gorilla lives in troops of up to 30. The groups are usually harmonious since there are no marked friendships between individuals. The leader of the group is the dominant silverback male. In large groups there may be more than one silverback. Younger non-dominant males may eventually move off and live solitary lives. They may even kidnap a female from another group and begin a new troop.

Aggressive displays such as chest beating are more for show. Gorillas are usually quite gentle. They are almost exclusively vegetarian with the occasional termite or ant snack.

You can download your own Gorilla chest beat here:
MP-3 Audio | M4R Ringtone

  • Shorter legs than arms might look a bit strange, but it helps gorillas walk on all four limbs.
  • A gorillas defensive behaviour, such as chest beating and charging is used to intimidate rather than start a fight.
  • Some gorillas are territorial while some are happy to share areas occasionally while moving between patches.
  • Getting grey hairs isn't such a bad thing for a gorilla, males will begin to get a greyish tinge on their backs around the age of 13.
  • Our gorillas eat 5kg of fruit and veg every day. How’s your fibre?
  • Currently there are around 880 Mountain Gorillas left in the wild and less than 8,500 Eastern Lowland Gorillas (Also known as Grauer’s Gorillas)

Would you want to be a gorilla? As more people move into your area, rainforest is being destroyed and turned into villages, roads, farms, mining operations or timber plantations.

As if this isn't enough, less habitat then exposes you more to poaching and disease.

One of the biggest threats to gorillas is the illegal mining of coltan, a mineral used in mobile phones.

Mining within the Congo River Basin is contributing to forest loss and unrest in the region, and is accelerating the loss of mountain gorillas.

At our Zoos...

  • Otana - Melbourne Zoo
  • Yuska - Melbourne Zoo
  • Kimya - Melbourne Zoo
  • G-Anne - Melbourne Zoo
  • Julia - Melbourne Zoo
  • Motaba - Werribee Open Range Zoo
  • Ghubari - Werribee Open Range Zoo
  • Yakini - Werribee Open Range Zoo

In the Wild...

  • Central Africa