The eastern lowland gorilla is a subspecies of gorilla residing in the easternmost forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are the largest of the four gorilla subspecies, with a stocky body, large hands and stubby muzzle. Despite their large size, their diet consists primarily of fruits and other plants, like other gorilla subspecies. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has suffered through severe civil and political unrest for many years, and the eastern lowland gorilla and mountain gorilla alike have both suffered severely for it. It is estimated that the population of eastern lowland gorillas in the DRC has declined by more than 50% since the 1990s when their population numbered 17,000.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Each family group of eastern lowland gorillas usually contains a dominant silverback male gorilla, three unrelated female gorillas and four or five young gorillas. Subordinate male gorillas may also be found in the groups.
- Eastern lowland gorillas are the smartest of all primates. They have been taught to use sign language to communicate words and have even put words together to form simple sentences.
- Eastern lowland gorillas can make up to 25 different vocalizations including grunts, barks, hoots, laughs, and screams, each with their own different meaning.
- The eastern lowland gorilla has been classified as endangered by the IUCN.
- The eastern lowland gorilla's scientific name is Gorilla beringei graueri.