The Greatest Ape
Where to see them
Mountain gorillas live in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on green, volcanic mountains. Lowland gorillas live in the forests of central and western Africa in Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Gorillas are the world’s largest primates. They are closely related to humans, sharing 98.3 per cent of their DNA with humans. Gorillas are highly intelligent. They use tools and have various methods of communication, including some 25 different sounds. As roaming herbivores, gorillas play a vital role in seed dispersal. Many large fruit trees depend upon gorilla’s to survive. Gorillas are mainly herbivores. They spend most of their day foraging for bamboo, fruit and leafy plants, though western lowlands also eat small insects.
How to help
There are two species of gorilla – eastern and western The two species live in central Africa, separated by a vast swathe of rain forest, and are both listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Gorillas are critically threatened by hunting for bush meat, habitat loss, wildlife trade, and infectious diseases. The western lowland gorilla is the most widespread, possibly numbering 100,000. The mountain gorilla population is drastically lower with only 880.