Gorillas have an extensive range, with some preferring to live in the mountains, while others prefer lowland areas. A majority of gorillas in the wild live in equatorial regions of the planet, with most located on the African continent.
There are just two species of gorilla: Eastern and Western. As the world’s largest primate, gorillas are also humanity’s closest relatives in the animal world, as about 98% of their DNA is identical to human DNA.
Interesting Facts About Gorillas
#1. Some population numbers for gorillas are quite numerous. The western lowland gorillas, for example, are believed to have up to 200,000 in population. River gorillas in Cameroon and Nigeria, however, are believed to be on the verge of extinction. Their population is believed to be under 300.
#2. Gorillas are an integral part of forest health. As they roam through the jungles of Africa, their movements spread seeds that begin to germinate into new plant life. These new plants are an important part of the food chain for many other animals in this habitat.
#3. The gorilla is believed to be one of the most intelligent animals on the planet. They use tools in the wild to accomplish specific tasks and have a language which incorporates more than two dozen different sounds. Some gorillas in captivity have been able to learn sign language to communicate with humans. Mother gorillas have been observed using repetitive gestures and different sounds with their newborns when communicating with them.
#4. Although gorillas are often considered to be fierce creatures, they are not generally hunters. Most gorillas will eat mainly plants. Their diet is primarily bamboo, wild fruit, and various edible plants. Some lowland gorillas have also been known to eat insects on a regular basis.
#5. Gorillas will also make “homes” for their family units, though it would be more accurate to describe what they build as a “nest.” As gorillas move from location to location, they will abandon their old nests. This is generally how researchers count population levels.
#6. Most gorillas are rather shy animals. They tend to avoid conflict whenever possible, which means a gorilla isn’t a threat to a human unless the animal feels trapped or threatened in some way. Their goal is to live a gentle and peaceful life.
#7. The Silverback gorilla gets his distinctive fur color when he reaches the age of maturity. In some ways, this makes the colorization more like a human beard. Once the grey hair grows in, the male gorilla takes on more of a family role, protecting the young and stopping predators who may try to attack.
#8. Gorillas are one of the few animals that live longer in captivity than in the wild. The oldest living gorilla has reached the age of 59, with many others living above the age of 50, while in captivity. Gorillas in the wild are believed to live to the age of 35.
Live Gorilla Cams
Gorillas may be shy in person, but they are active and caring creatures when they are alone with their family groups. These are the top web cameras that can help you view these unique interactions.
View Houston Zoo Gorilla Cam.
View Toledo Zoo Gorilla Cam.
Many gorilla encounters tend to happen in zoos or other captive environments. The webcams offer a glimpse into how gorillas in the wild interact.