Eastern Lowland Gorilla Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Eastern Lowland Gorilla / Grauer's Gorilla

Scientific Name:

Gorilla beringei graueri

Wild Status:

Critically Endangered


Lowland and Albertine Rift, montane forests of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)


Eastern Central Africa


Lowland old-growth forests, mountain forests, bamboo and even swampy forests

Life Span:

35 to 50 years


up to 360 pounds

Cool Facts:

  • Gorillas are the biggest primates.
  • Eastern Lowland Gorillas are extremely intelligent and use many different types of communication from sounds to tools.
  • Eastern Lowland Gorillas are omnivores
  • The Eastern Lowland Gorilla's noses have a unique print similar to human fingerprints and can be used to identify individuals.
  • The females produce one baby every 4 to 6 years.
  • Gorillas are closely related to Homo sapiens with a DNA match of 98%.
  • Gorillas build nests to sleep in, on the ground and in trees.
  • The males are called Silverbacks because as they age their fur turns white.


The Eastern Lowland Gorilla is one of the largest primates in the world. They can reach up to 350 pounds with females being smaller. They live in tropical jungles and forests and can be found in trees in Eastern and Central Africa. The Eastern Lowland Gorilla has opposable thumbs which help them peel fruit. Their diet consists mostly of fruit but they will eat nuts, leaves, berries and sometimes insects or small lizards and rodents.  They have also been observed using tools to help gather food. They can eat up to 40 pounds of food a day. The Eastern Lowland Gorilla builds nests on the ground and in trees. They use branches and leaves to lay on like a mattress. They live a nomadic lifestyle moving from place to place and going wherever there is food to be found. Researchers are able to guess their numbers by how many nests they find. They can also pull hair out of nests and study them to see how healthy they are. The Eastern Lowland Gorilla doesn't have many predators due to it's large size. They live in groups up to 30 with an alpha male in charge.  The alpha male mates with the females of the group to produce babies.  The female gives birth every 4 to 6 years and the babies stay with the mothers until they are a few years old. They are sociable and peaceful. They are considered an endangered species due to poaching and habitat loss.

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Primates Suborder: Haplorhini Infraorder: Simiiformes Family: Hominidae Subfamily: Homininae Tribe: Gorillini Genus: Gorilla Species: Gorilla beringei, G. gorilla

Conservation & Helping:

The Eastern Lowland Gorilla is an endangered species primarily due to habitat loss and illegal poaching. It is estimated that there are only 5000 left in the wild. There are some international organizations that are attempting to expand and create protected areas from poaching and habitat loss.

For Teachers and Educators


Keep Exploring Defenders!