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Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) Fact Sheet, 2006   Tags: africa, bushmeat, conservation, disease, endangered, fact sheet, gorilla, habitat, san diego zoo, sdzg  

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) Fact Sheet, 2006

Image Credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. All Rights Reserved.

TaxonomyPhysical Characteristics

Describer (Date): Savage (1847)

Order: Primates

Family: Hominidae

Subfamily: Homininae

Genus: Gorilla

Species: G. gorilla

Subspecies: G. g. gorilla

Body Weight
Males 136-181 kg (300-400 lb)
Females 72-98 kg (159-216 lb)

Height: 1400-1750 mm (4.6-5.74 ft)

Pelage: Black short fur, top of head is brown, face hairless.
Distribution & StatusBehavior & Ecology
Range: West & Central Africa

Habitat: Tropical & montane rain forests, including forest swamps.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN 2016)

CITES Appendix: Appendix I

Population in Wild: 150,000 to 255,000; rapid declines since early 2000s

Locomotion: Quadrupedal knuckle walking / cautious climbers

Activity Cycle: Diurnal

Social Groups: 4-6 adults. Male silverback dominates.

Diet: Leaves, stems, pith, fruit, seeds, insects

Predators: Man, leopard
Reproduction & DevelopmentSpecies Highlights
Sexual Maturity:
Male: 12-15 years
Female: 8.5-10 years

Gestation: 8.5 months

Birth weight: ~4.4 lbs

Age at Weaning: 3+ years

Longevity: 30-40 years in wild, 50 in captivity

Feature Facts: Age to maturity on par with human development. Females only give birth every 3-5 years. Build nests at night. Playful, especially young gorillas. Critically Endangered. Emerging risk of oil palm agriculture. 

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About This Fact Sheet

© 2006-2016 San Diego Zoo Global. Updated 2015. Conservation update 2016.

How to cite: Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) Fact Sheet, 2006. c2006-2016. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd].
(Note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Jan 15)

Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to

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