Western lowland gorilla in exhibit

Western Lowland Gorilla

Scientific Name

Gorilla gorilla gorilla

Class

Mammalia

Order

Primates

Range

Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Congo, and Equatorial Guinea

Habitat

Swamp and lowland forests

Estimated Wild Population

300,000
Western lowland gorilla in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Critically Endangered IUCN Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

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Physical Description

Western lowland gorillas, one of the largest living primates, can grow up to six feet tall and over 400 pounds. All gorillas have a black coat, but adult males also have a silvery-white "saddle" on their back. Gorillas are herbivorous, primarily feeding on leaves, stems, and fruit. Troops are made up of a dominant silverback, multiple females, and their young. Mating is non-seasonal and offspring are born after nine months. After maturing, males leave to form their own troop or join a bachelor group while females leave to join another established group.

Interesting Fact 1

Gorillas form a tight-knit family group protected by a silverback. They are very gentle, sensitive, and intelligent.

Interesting Fact 2

While displaying their most famous gesture, gorillas stand on their back two legs and beat their chest with open hands—not clenched fists as often shown on television.

Interesting Fact 3

Lincoln Park Zoo scientists study gorillas through behavior and health monitoring, voluntary tool-use studies, and computer touchscreen sessions.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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Saving Animals From Exctinction

AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction focuses the collective expertise within AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and leverages their audiences to save species.

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Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

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Animals Depend On People Too

When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.

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Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy. 

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Take Action With Us

Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

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