Western lowland gorilla

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Animal File

Common Name:
Western lowland gorilla
Scientific Name:
Gorilla gorilla gorilla
Size: 1.8 m
Weight: 181 kg
Native to Africa
Rain Forest

Conservation Status

Critically threatened

Gorillas are often portrayed as vicious animals, but they actually live very peacefully in small groups of females led by an adult male known as a “silverback” because of the colouring of their coats. The hair on their backs goes lighter as they mature, eventually becoming a silvery white.

Western lowland gorillas are omnivorous, meaning that they will eat almost anything, but their diet in the wild mostly comprises plants and fruit. In the Zoo, they are fed mainly fruit and vegetables, but also rice, eggs, cheese, yogurt and vitamins.

Gorillas live up to 50 years in the wild.  They give birth to a single baby every four years after a pregnancy of 8 – 9 months. Western lowland gorillas differ from other sub-species as they are smaller in size and have grey-brown coats and auburn chests.  Their skulls are wider with deep brow ridges and smaller ears.

At Blackpool Zoo, we have a group of six Western lowland gorillas comprising Bukavu, the silverback, Miliki and her daughter, Meisie & her son Makari, Njema and Moanda. They are a contented group and enjoy spending time on Gorilla Mountain when the weather is suitable.

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