Western Lowland Gorillas

A fully grown male western lowland gorilla can weigh up to 185 kgs and stand at around 5 feet 6 inches tall when standing on two legs. They have large muscles and a big broad chest, which are used mainly for fighting during disputes with other males for territory.

Western Lowland Gorillas: Western lowland gorillas are one of the two species of gorillas, the other specie being Eastern gorillas. These primates are distinguished by their physical characteristics and their unique way of communicating with each other.

Physical Characteristics of Western lowland Gorillas:

Fully grown male western lowland gorilla can weigh up to 185 kgs and stand at around 5 feet 6 inches tall when standing on two legs. They have large muscles and a big broad chest, which are used mainly for fighting during disputes with other males for territory. Adult females tend to be smaller in size compared to their male counterparts and usually weigh around 95 kgs. Both males and females western lowland gorillas have long arms and short legs, making them excellent climbers an important skill in the tropical forests.

Western lowland gorillas are incredibly strong primates with grown male silverback gorillas can weigh up to 185kgs and can lift 1810kgs or carry weights up to 10 times their own body weight. Female gorillas are also known for their impressive displays of physical strength by  throwing big objects and destroying plants with incredible force when angry. However, it’s important to note that western lowland gorillas are also very intelligent and social, and must be treated with respect and caution during your trekking in the jungles.

What is the life expectancy of western lowland gorillas? The life expectancy of western lowland gorillas is about 35-40 years in the wild, and up to 60 years in captivity. In October 2017, troop matriarch Vila marked a milestone when she turned 60 years old. She was one of the world’s oldest gorillas. Sadly, she passed away in January 2018.


Western gorillas are found in the tropical rainforests of West and Central Africa in countries like Cameroon, Angola, Gabon, Nigeria and the Republic of Congo. They have adapted well to living in these dense forest environments, where they spend their days looking for food, socializing with other members of their group, and chilling in shades.

Western lowland gorillas Prefer dense primary forests/undisturbed secondary forests with dependable, year-round food supply of high-quality herbs and may nest around savanna forest edges


Western lowland gorillas consume large quantities of leaves since leaves / plants offer little nutrition to them and tend to choose vegetation high in protein and low in fiber. Western lowland gorillas also love to eat fruits, including bananas, mangoes, and papayas stems, and bark of trees, as well as ants, lizards and termites. Those in captivity are often fed a diet of fruits, vegetables.  


Western gorillas are fascinating creatures because of their unique and complex communication system. They use over 22 different vocalizations like grunts, barks, screams, hoots  to convey different meanings to their group members. They also use facial expressions and sign language to communicate with one another. Visual communication is very common with facial expression has been identified in Western lowland gorillas.

 Gorilla ‘fear odor’ (the scent of scared gorillas) has been detected in the air after encounters between western gorillas and leopards (Fay, 1995). Not only can the odors signal emotional responses such as to danger, they can be modulated and can be used to regulate the behaviors of other gorillas, according to researchers Michelle Klailova and Phyllis Lee, from the University of Stirling in Britain after following a gorilla family for one year


Western gorillas are social animals and live in groups called troops. The size of these troops varies from as little as two to as many as 30 individuals. The groups are led by a dominant male, called a silverback because of the silver-colored fur that develops on his back as he gets older.

Western lowland gorillas of 2.5 and above years build nests for sleeping at night and sometimes for mid-day rest Nests are usually built on level ground. Vegetation is folded around and under the body. (Some nests built in trees)Entire process takes about 5 minutes but in some cases gorillas sleep on bare ground

Mating and reproduction in Western Lowland Gorillas

Males can engage sexual intercourse by the age 9-10 years but few mating opportunities until they are fully grown to Silverback status~ 12-15. Female Western lowland gorillas are usually ready for mating at the age of 5 to 7 and usually have the first born at 8.5-10 years. Female gorillas give birth to one infant after a pregnancy of nearly nine months.


Western lowland gorilla specie is classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The population of Western lowland gorilla has decreased significantly over the past few decades due to habitat loss, hunting for bushmeat and insecurity in some of their habitants. However, the Dian Fossey International Gorilla fund, Gorilla doctors  and the Gorilla Conservation Fund are some of the organizations  are working towards protecting western gorilla populations by raising awareness about the threats faced by the gorillas and implementing conservation programs throughout several African countries that are home to the population of western lowland gorillas  .

Where can I trek the western lowland gorillas? 

Western lowland gorilla trekking is an amazing and exciting experience, and there are a few great options for where to go if you want to see gorillas in the wild. One of the few best places for this is the Republic of Congo’ Odzala-Kokoua National Park where you can observe these beautiful gorillas in their natural habitat. Another popular destination is the Central African Republic, where tourists can visit Dzangha Sangha National park and other gorilla habituated areas for a chance to view them. Finally, Gabon is known for its Western Gorilla trekking  with Loango National Park as one of only a few places where it is possible to see habituated, wild western lowland gorillas


The Western Gorilla is a truly beautiful creatures , known for their intelligence, strength, and charisma . Despite the challenges faced by these lowland gorillas, there is still hope for these majestic primates, and their survival remains an important issue for conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts from across the world.



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