Gorilla gorilla beringei

Contributed by Susie10

(Write a short description of your animal)
Gorillas are large, quiet, gentle apes that live in Africa. Although gorillas are frequently portrayed as aggressive, dangerous killers, they are really shy, peaceful vegetarians.

Male mountain gorillas reach an average of 6 feet tall (when standing upright) and weigh 400 to 500 pounds, making them the largest of the great apes (chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas). Females are smaller, standing an average of 4 to 5 feet tall and weighing 150 to 200 pounds.
Size relative to a 6 ft (2 m) man:

The mountain gorilla is primarily an herbivore. Mountain gorillas eat over 100 different species of plants. They rarely need to drink since their diet is so rich in succulent herbs, from which they get their water.

The Mountain Gorilla is an endangered species. Fewer than 400 are left in the wild. Poaching and war present the greatest threats to these creatures.

Mountain gorillas live up to 53 years in captivity.

Gorillas are primarily terrestrial (although they lived in trees back in their evolutionary past). Gorillas live in tropical rain forests (in the forest edges and clearings), wet lowland forests, swamps, and abandoned fields.

Africa, mainly along the equator.

Mountain gorillas have a slow rate of reproduction. Females give birth for the first time at about age 10 and will have more offspring every three or four years. A male begins to breed between 12 and 15 years, when he is in charge of his own group. Able to conceive for only about three days each month, the female produces a single young.

Newborn gorillas are weak and tiny, weighing in at about 4 pounds. Their movements are as awkward as those of human infants, but their development is roughly twice as fast. At 3 or 4 months, the gorilla infant can sit upright and can stand with support soon after. It suckles regularly for about a year and is gradually weaned at about 31/2 years, when it becomes more independent.

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  • Gorillas rarely attack humans. But in an encounter a person should stay still and refrain from staring or pointing at the gorilla.
  • Gorillas are susceptible to various parasites and diseases, especially to pneumonia during the long, cold wet seasons.

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Mountain gorilla printout