Gorilla facts

'Who is who?'



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Life style

Gorillas are social animals who live in a harem structure.

The groups have difference sizes in the wild. There´s a difference in group size per (sub)species. In zoos in our country there's one silverback living with at least three females and their shared kids.

The silverback is the undisputed leader. He's above all his females and kids. Between the females there's also a hierarchy. One is always the highest ranked female and one always the lowest ranked female.

Sometimes the rank order changes and it's not always very clear. The order depends on various factors. In general the female with the youngest kid is the highest ranked female. She needs more 'protection' from the silverback than the others. But often it also has to do with the personality of the female; some personalities are better compatible with the silverback then others. And such a female can be the highest ranked female. Some females really want to be 'number 1'; some females don't care about it.

Kids from higher ranked females also have this higher rank compared to kids from lower ranked females.

There's a lot to tell about the life style of gorillas in the wild. I'd like to direct you to gorillafoundation.nl/social-structure for that info.

I only want to tell about how gorillas sleep. They build (like the gorillas in the wild do) a new nest every day to sleep in. Young gorillas sleep with their mom in her nest. Older siblings sleep in their own nest. I love to watch gorillas building their nest. They don't really do that for their siesta, but they do make a nest for the night. So in end of the day I see them do that often. Again, I love to watch them doing that! It's easier for me to film it once, but for now a (very) short explanation.

The gorillas take straw (or other material) that's been put in their enclosure by the keepers. It's not daily refreshed (not necessary) but sometimes it's fresh. They then pull that straw apart and put it under their feet and build a nest by putting it besides them and pull it around them. One is longer and more intense working on it than others. It's hard to describe, so I should really make a video of it soon. That's not that easy now that the zoos are only open till 5 PM. They start shortly after 5 PM with that activity. As soon as our zoos are opened one hour longer, I'll film it. So more about this subject as soon as possible.