Eastern Lowland Gorilla Facts

Eastern Lowland Gorilla (AKA Grauer's Gorilla)

Male Eastern Lowland Gorilla

Education and facts about Eastern Lowland Gorillas and their conservation status.  Click here for games and videos about these magnificent apes.


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Eastern Lowland Gorilla Facts


Gorilla beringei graueri


35 to 50 years


Gorilla Size icon


460  pounds


The eastern lowland gorilla is mostly herbivorous, meaning that they eat mainly plants and fruit. They will also eat caterpillars and termites. Eastern lowland gorillas eat the entire plant, including the roots, stems, leaves, and bark.


The gorilla has very few predators due to its size, but leopards can kill the gorillas. Also, an occasional crocodile will attack a gorilla.


The eastern lowland gorilla, or Grauer’s gorilla, is the largest gorilla subspecies on the planet and the largest primate in the world. It has a black coat and has short hair on its head and body. Male gorillas have silver hair on their back, giving them the name ‘silverback’ gorillas. It has a stocky body, large hands, and a short muzzle. The male gorilla is larger and heavier than the female gorillas. Grauer’s gorillas rely on the weight of their knuckles to walk.


Grauer’s gorillas are very sociable and live in groups from two to thirty gorillas. The group will consist of one silverback male gorilla, a few female gorillas, and their offspring. The male silverback gorilla is the leader of the group and protects the group from any danger. Once a male silverback reaches maturity, it will leave the group and try to attract females to its own group. Infant gorillas will stay with their mother for three to four years before leaving the pack. These gorillas are not aggressive or territorial but are actually friendly and gentle creatures. They spend most of their time feeding.


The biggest threat to eastern lowland gorillas is poaching for the bushmeat industry. Gorillas and other animals in Africa are killed and sold for meat. It is estimated that 300 gorillas are killed each year for the trade. Logging and mining in the area have also severely affected the gorilla habitat, as they now only occupy 19 percent of their historic range. In 1990, there were an estimated 17,000 eastern lowland gorillas; now, there are only 5,000 gorillas left.

How can you Help?

Learn all you can about the Eastern Lowland Gorillas and their cousins and spread the word to others.

Help fight deforestation as loss of habitat is a huge issue for these great apes.

Buy sustainable wood products.


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