Western Lowland Gorillas
Western lowland gorillas are one of the two subspecies of the Western gorilla that live in montane, primary and secondary forest as well as lowland swampland in Central Africa in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon. The western lowland gorillas are the smallest of all the four gorilla subspecies. Apart from the forest areas and swampy areas that the lowland gorillas do inhabit naturally, it is only the lowland gorillas that actually do live in captivity as well, say in zoos.
Though the lowland gorillas are the smallest of all the subspecies of gorilla, they still have an exceptional size and strength. lowland gorillas have jet black skin along with coarse black hair that covers their entire body excluding the face, ears, hands and feet. The male western lowland gorillas hairs on the back take a grey coloration and is lost as they do grow older, hence being cold silverbacks. lowland gorillas have their hands proportionately large with nails on digits quite similar to those of humans, with very large thumbs. lowland gorillas have short muzzles, prominent brow ridges, large nostrils and small eyes and ears. The teeth of the lowland gorillas are strong, including four sets of frontal canines nd large molars for biting and grinding vegetation and fruits which they get from their habitat. Enjoy these experiences in Congo safaris Tours
Male lowland gorillas can stand erect up to 1.8m tall and weigh to up to 270kg. Males also have an average 140kg weight while the females can average at 90kg.
Behavior of Western Lowland Gorillas
lowland gorillas live in groups or call them gorilla families which usually make up of not more than 30 individuals, with a home range averaging 8-45 square kilometers travelling about 3-5km every day. lowland gorillas do not show territorial behavior. A typical gorilla family consists of a one silverback which is the head of the family/gorilla group, about 3 adult females and their offspring, as well as male gorillas usually black backs. The silverback is the head of the gorilla group, taking on the responsibility of protection of the family, including leading them to feeding areas, nesting areas, among so many others. A silverback can actually protect his family with his own life. lowland gorillas spend much of their day playing, bonding, and grooming among other activities like feeding and napping. Western lowland gorillas feed of foliage from the vegetation, fruits and sometimes small insects.
Female western lowland gorillas mature to start reproduction at the age of 8 or 9, birthing only one infant after a gestation period of about 9months. Female lowland gorillas do not usually show signs of pregnancy and the infants upon being delivered are quite tiny little things that usually hold on to their mothers fur most of the time. A mother lowland gorilla, as well as the father are very protective towards their infants. Infant gorillas usually have a tuft of white hair on their backsides and do depend on their mothers for up to five years.
Western lowland gorillas can climb trees, but are usually found on the ground, moving on their fours.
lowland gorillas do have communication amongst themselves. lowland gorillas have a diverse array of vocalization with at least 22 of them indicated including hooting, barks, and screams, among others. lowland gorillas are known to also adopt to sign language and gestures.
Threats to survival of western lowland gorillas
Western lowland gorillas are currently listed as critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) but with some conservation efforts in place, the gorilla population is increasing and the future is bright. The threats to survival of lowland gorillas for future generations include habitat loss which has the forests being destroyed or encroached on by humans for human activities like cultivation and settlement leaving the gorillas prone to poaching for especially bush meat. Also, diseases have been a constant threat to the survival of the lowland gorillas.
Western lowland gorillas can be encountered in the wild with lowland gorilla trekking safaris. Gorilla safaris in Africa are a great way to encounter these endangered and critically endangered species that roam specific African countries. To encounter lowland gorillas, especially lowland gorillas, reach out to your trusted Africa safari tour operator for an amazing gorilla trekking encounter.