Gorilla facts

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Weight/length/age/how they move

The information below is about (western lowland) gorillas in our zoos.

Females weigh between 60 and 120 kilo; males between 180 and 230 kilo. The length of a gorilla is not so spectacular as many think If they're standing upright the females are around 1.5 meter; a male maximum about 1.8 meter. They look huge, but they have short legs. They're also not able to stretch their legs entirely like we can.

Gorillas in our zoos reach the age of about 45 to 50 year. In the wild they don't get to that age. Except because of the many threats this is also because in our zoos the gorillas can be examined and treated when they're sick. Something that isn't easy by the way. Anaesthesia is (with many animals) often very risky and before taking that risk, the problem has to be very serious / life threating. Over the past years the maximum age has been adjusted regularly. On 2 February 2016 I read on a sign in Safaripark Beekse Bergen that 35 was the maximum age.

Gorillas move on hands and feet. Their feet are flat on the ground; their hands on their knuckles. Their feet look a lot like hands, because they have an opposable toe. Because of them moving on hands their thumbs are smaller compared with ours. That way these thumbs don't bother them when they're moving around.

Information about the other gorilla species (including the western lowland gorilla) can be found here: general information (website of the Dutch Gorilla Foundation).