Animal Facts
    Common Name:
    Western Lowland Gorilla
    Scientific Name:
    Gorilla gorilla
    • Gorillas tend to live in family groups of a dominate male with several females and some of their offspring.
    • They are often most active in the morning.
    • Nests of plants and leaves are built on the ground or in a tree to sleep in.
    6 ft
    350 lb
    Life Span:
    30 yrs
    Gestation Period:
    255 days
    Number of Young:
    • Forest
    Fun Facts:
    • Females are significantly smaller.
    • Mature males with gray hairs on their backs are known as "silverbacks".
    • Attacks are rare, but signs of aggression such as beating the chest and roaring are used to intimidate.
    • Females only reproduce once every 4 or 5 years.
    • Climate Change
    • Disease
    • Habitat Loss
    • Poaching / Over Consumption
    Endangered Status
    Endangered Status
    • Extinct in Wild (EW)
    • Critically Endangered (CR)
    • Endangered (EN)
    • Vulnerable (VU)
    • Near Threatened (NT)
    • Least Concern (LC)
    • Not Evaluated (NE)

    North Carolina Zoo is helping to save gorillas in the wild. We equip rangers with the tools they need to track and reduce threats to gorillas as well as count the gorillas themselves. In addition, we are assessing the potential risk of disease transmission between gorillas, livestock, and people. You can read more about the Zoo’s work on wild gorillas below, under related resources.

    This species is an Association of Zoos and Aquariums SAFEspecies. SAFE seeks to protect threatened and endangered species around the world.

    The gorillas at the Zoo get a heart-healthy diet. It consists of mostly leafy greens with a little fruit and some starchy vegetables spread throughout the habitat. This diet mimics what they eat in the wild and encourages them to spend more time foraging and eating their food.

    Saving Species Plan Logo

    This species is cooperatively managed as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan program program. This program is responsible for developing a Breeding and Transfer Plan for each species in the program.