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Eastern Lowland Gorillas

Eastern Lowland Gorillas Congo – Gorilla Trekking & Tours

The eastern lowland gorilla or Grauer’s gorilla is a subspecies of eastern gorilla which are endemic to the mountainous forests of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Important populations of this gorilla live in the Kahuzi-Biega and Maiko National Parks and their adjacent forests, the Tayna Gorilla Reserve, the Usala forest and on the Itombwe Massif.

According to a report made in 2004, there were only about 5,000 eastern lowland gorillas in the wild, down to fewer than 3,800 in 2016. Eastern lowland gorillas are the largest subspecies of gorilla and the largest living primates. Males have an average weight of 210 kilograms, females of 100 kilograms.

The maximum standing height for males is 1.85 metres, while females reach 1.6 metres. An older weight calculated based on eight wild adult males is 169 kg.

The eastern lowland gorilla has the widest altitudinal range of any of the gorilla subspecies, being found in mountainous, transitional and lowland tropical forests. One of the most studied eastern lowland gorilla population lives in the highlands of Kahuzi-Biega, where habitats vary between dense primary forests to moderately moist woodland, to Cyperus swamp and peat bog.

These Gorillas do not eat banana fruits, but they may destroy banana trees to eat the nutritious pith. The eastern lowland gorilla shows a preference for regenerating vegetation associated with abandoned villages and fields.

Farmers who have come in contact with gorillas in their plantations have killed the gorilla for destroying their crops. Eastern lowland gorilla has a varied plants diet including fruits, leaves, stems and bark as well as small insects such as ants and termites. Although they occasionally eat ants, insects form only a minor part of their diet. In comparison to western lowland gorillas, found in low altitude tropical forests.

Eastern lowland gorillas are highly sociable and very peaceful, living in groups of two to over 30. A group usually consists of one silverback, several females and their offspring. Silverbacks are strong and each group has one dominant leader. These males protect their group from danger.

Young silverback males will slowly begin to leave their natal group when they reach maturity, and will then attempt to attract females to form their own group.