Western lowland gorillas

Western lowland gorillas

Gorilla gorilla gorilla

IUCN status
Critically endangered
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Western lowland gorillas

« No two gorilla noses are the same! »

An awe-inspiring primate

A silver back, but a heart of gold!

The gorilla is the largest of the apes. Males can weigh up to 250 kg! The adult male is much larger in stature than the female. Its head is much bulkier, and when it reaches adulthood, the male’s backs turn grey. This has earned the adult male the nickname “silverback”. But despite its impressive build, this mountain of muscle is in fact one of the most peaceful of the great apes. When a male shouts, rises up on his hind legs, and beats his chest, it is intended to intimidate rather than to be a form of outright aggression.

Western lowland gorillas

Did you know?

Our females reintroduced in Gabon

Follow the Beauval Nature expedition which reintroduced 2 female gorillas born at the ZooParc de Beauval, Mayombé and Kuimba, back into the wild. Against a backdrop of breath-taking landscapes, experience the emotional rollercoaster endured by our team, from the departure from the zoo to the first few steps on the island!

Beauval Nature protects the western lowland gorilla in Africa

The western lowland gorilla is an emblematic African animal and is classified as a critically endangered species

Hunted for their meat and falling victim to poaching and trafficking, western lowland gorillas have practically disappeared from their natural habitats. A programme has been set up that is managed by the Aspinall Foundation and supported by the Beauval Nature association. 

The objectives of which are: the reintroduction and monitoring of gorillas seized by the authorities or born in European zoos, and the collection of young gorillas whose mothers were victims of poaching.
This programme placed 1st in the “Conservation” category of the People’s Choice Award, 2019.

Western lowland gorillas

Asato, the patriarch

Asato is the head of a large family

This gorilla dad, who is a both a mediator and protector rolled into one, maintains order. 

His family recently increased in number with the birth of two young males: M’Baku on October 27, 2018 and Kovanga 6 months later, during the night of March 15, 2019.

Western lowland gorillas
Western lowland gorillas
Western lowland gorillas
Western lowland gorillas
Beauval Nature

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Critically endangered

Learn more about the species

  • Diet
  • Gestation period
    8½ to 9 months
  • Litter size
    1 young
  • Habitat
    Lowland tropical forests

Forget the bananas!

Although we often think of them eating bananas, in reality fruit makes up a very small part of the gorilla’s diet. It is in fact an herbivore with folivore tendencies. It feeds on all kinds of plants ingesting the leaves, bark, and pith of branches and roots. Since these foods are not very nutritious, the gorilla must consume large quantities of them and will spend most of the day searching for them. A male gorilla can eat about 14 kg of food per day and a female can eat around 7 kg.

A unique nose

You are probably wondering how the keepers manage to recognise Beauval’s different gorillas? Each individual does of course have its own personality and habits… But there is a sure-fire way to tell them apart: by their noses! Noses are key characteristics for gorilla identification. No two gorilla noses are the same! In the wild, researchers photograph the face of each gorilla as precisely as possible in order to better recognise individuals.

Family life

The gorilla lives in a harem. In other words, a male brings together a group of females which he will watch over and reproduce with. These social groups are generally made up of 5 or 6 adults. Young females are permitted to continue living within this large family group, but this is not the case for males. When they reach sexual maturity, they must leave the nest to find their own territory, and their own group.

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