Eastern Gorillas – Gorilla Beringei
The Eastern gorilla is the largest primate in the world. There are a couple of sub species of it including the Eastern Lowland gorilla and the Mountain gorilla. They are extremely large animals that can weigh hundreds of pounds and be taller than an adult man. They also have hair all over their bodies. The arms are longer than the legs to help them to swing and due to them walking on their knuckles.
As the names suggest, the Eastern Lowland gorillas live in the flat lands. They prefer the forests that offer them plenty of food to consume on a daily basis. The Mountain gorillas live in the higher elevations. While they have less selection of types of food they are still able to find enough of it for them to survive.
For the most part the Eastern gorilla is very calm. They take very good care of their offspring and form strong bonds within their troops. They aren’t territorial and they also seem to have a good time with each other. They have many forms of communication that they use to interact with each other as well as to warn others to stay away from them.
They have been known to form troops that have up to 40 members in them. Most of the time though they are going to have about 12 members. It is believed these larger groups may have formed due to the lower numbers and the reduction of their natural habitat in size over the course of time.
These gorillas feed for many hours each day. What they will consume depends on the time of year and the area where they live. Their diet can consist of bamboo, stems, bark, flowers, fruits and berries, and even small insects that they find crawling around or that they remove from each other during the grooming process.
The Eastern gorilla can mate any time of the year. There is only one silverback in each troop and he is the only one that can mate with the females in that group. The males of the troop will leave when they are almost mature to go form their own troops. The females will also leave when they are mature so that they can find a silverback to be part of a troop with and for mating purposes.
There are huge efforts in place to help the Eastern gorilla to survive. Their numbers are drastically low. While it is hard to estimate exact numbers it is believed that there are about 16,000 of the Eastern Lowland gorillas and only about 600 of the Mountain gorilla remaining. A fear though is that these efforts are coming too late after decades of poaching and habitat destruction.
There are some National Parks out there where the gorillas are able to reside without being hunted. These locations have also become prime tourist attractions as people are very interested in viewing gorillas in their natural setting.
Humans are responsible for the low number of Eastern gorillas remaining. They are the ones responsible for killing them for no good reason and for taking their natural habitat to use for their own needs. There have been some positive interactions between humans and these gorillas though. This shows that they are compassionate animals and that they are similar to humans in a variety of ways.
There aren’t any mountain zoos in captivity any where in the world at this time. There are also very few Eastern gorillas. Those that you see in captivity will almost always be Western gorillas as they seem do better in such a setting.