Western lowland gorilla, Jasiri

Western Lowland Gorillas

In remote lowland forests there is a quiet gorilla subspecies known as the western lowland gorilla. We are home to a troop that includes a silverback male, four adult females, and male and female infants.

Gentle giants roaming thick forests

While these gorillas have impressive size and weight, western lowland gorillas are the smallest of the gorilla species. Living together in close-knit family groups, a gorilla troop is led by a dominant male called a silverback who has a saddle of silver hair on the small of his back. Gorillas can climb but typically keep to the ground and move around on all fours, walking on their knuckles.


  • IUCN Red List Status: Critically Endangered (at extremely high risk of extinction in the wild)
  • Type: Mammal
  • Habitat: Tropical rainforests of central and western Africa
  • Diet: Herbivore – leaves, shoots, and fruits
  • Size: 4 to 6 feet tall
  • Weight: 150 to 400 pounds
Western lowland gorilla Western lowland gorilla Gorillas
Cross River Gorilla

Care & Conservation

Cross River Gorilla Initiative

Our work in gorilla conservation doesn’t stop at the zoo. We work with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) to protect the Cross River gorilla, a Critically Endangered subspecies of the western gorilla.
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facts about our animals

Fun Facts about Gorillas

Silverback gorillas are responsible for leading the group in nesting, eating, and traveling across their native range.

These gorillas are typically quiet animals but have up to 22 different kinds of vocalizations.

Newborn gorillas only weigh four pounds and ride on their mother’s backs, chest, and legs until they are three years old.

Western lowland gorillas are distinguished by a prominent ridge on their brow.

An adult male will eat 40 to 50 pounds of food every day, while an adult female will eat between half and two thirds of that amount.

Gorillas have unique nose prints in the same way that humans have unique fingerprints.

Gorillas on the line

How You Can Help

Gorillas on the Line

The mining of the ore coltan to build cell phone parts is leading to the habitat loss and endangerment of gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. By recycling electronic devices through Gorilla SAFE programs, we lessen the demand for coltan and help protect gorillas in the wild.

Western lowland gorilla


How you can help

Your donation makes a world of difference. With support for animal care, conservation programs, and education, you’re making the world wilder.

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Plan your visit

Get close to wildlife

It’s time to make some memories. Here’s everything you need to know to plan an unforgettable day at the zoo.