King Kong’s got nothing on our newest Animal of the Week…it’s the Eastern Lowland Gorilla! Gorillas have always been a fan favorite animal, boasting many unique traits. They are highly intelligent, big and beautiful, and some of the strongest animals on the planet. What many people often leave out though, is that all gorilla species are critically endangered, and this is true of the Eastern Lowland Gorilla as well. The Eastern Lowland Gorilla is the largest subspecies of gorilla, and the largest living primates on the planet. While they have the appearance of huge brutes, these gorillas are actually peaceful and highly social, living in groups of up to 30 individuals.
How many Eastern Lowland Gorillas are left in the world?
Of the two subspecies of eastern gorilla, the Eastern Lowland Gorilla is actually the more populous of the two. The mountain gorilla is the second subspecies and has vastly lower numbers – estimated at less than 1,000 in the wild. The population of the Eastern Lowland Gorilla is not as critical, however they still need a lot of growth for the numbers to be stable. It is estimated now that they are in the range of 3,000 – 4,000 individuals left in the wild.
Where are Eastern Lowland Gorillas located?
Like all species of Gorilla, the Eastern Lowland Gorilla is native to Sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically these guys are found in mountainous forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are a couple national parks where bigger populations of these Gorillas live, as well as in the forests adjacent to these parks. While the Eastern Lowland Gorillas prefer mountainous forests, they have a fairly wide range and can also be found in transitional and lowland tropical forests in the area.
How strong is a Gorilla?
Depending on who you ask, the average gorilla is considered 6 to 15 times as strong a professional human fighter! While there are many techniques for a weaker combatant to fight a stronger opponent, none of these would have any impact against the raw strength of these majestic beasts. Some factors that have led to their massive arm strength are the fact they walk on all fours, using their arms to help support their weight, as well as the strength it requires to swing through the trees. What many people don’t know though is that a Gorilla’s biteforce is their real danger – when recorded, the strength of their bite has shown stronger than a lion, or even a great white shark!
What does the Eastern Lowland Gorilla eat?
Contrary to their large size and appearance, gorillas are primarily herbivores and don’t prey upon any animals for food aside from small invertebrates. The majority of the Eastern Lowland Gorilla’s diet includes plant matter and vegetation, such as fruits, flowers, leaves, bark, stems, and more.
Why are the Eastern Gorillas endangered?
Sadly, most gorillas live in an area where there are constant political battles and wars between humans, and this takes a negative effect on the Eastern Lowland Gorilla population. Like most other gorilla species, a combination of poaching and habitat loss are the main causes for their low population numbers. The population numbers are not as low as other species, like the Mountain Gorilla, but are still estimated below 5,000 and in need of continuous growth.