Eastern Lowland Gorillas

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Eastern Lowland Gorillas

The eastern lowland gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) also known as the Grauer’s gorilla is a subspecies of eastern gorilla endemic to the mountainous forests of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Important populations of this gorilla live within the Kahuzi-Biega and Maiko National Parks and their adjacent forests, the Tayna Gorilla Reserve, the Usala forest and on the Itombwe Massif.

It is the largest of the four gorilla subspecies. It has jet black coats like the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei), although the hair is shorter on the head and body. The male’s coat, like that of other gorillas, turns silver at the back as the animal matures. There are many more western lowland gorillas than the eastern variety; compared to a possible total of over 100,000 western lowland gorillas, there are only about 5,000 eastern lowland gorillas in the wild, and only a single female in captivity at the Antwerp Zoo in Belgium.

Physical description

Eastern lowland gorillas are the largest subspecies of gorilla and the largest living primates. Males weigh 163 kg (360 lb) on average while females usually weigh half as much.[5] Males have a standing height of 1.76 metres (5 ft 9 in) on average and females stand at 1.60 metres (5 ft 3 in) or less.

Gorillas living in zoos are usually heavier than those in the wild, since they get less exercise and can weigh as much as 270 kilograms (600 lb).[6] One of the largest captive gorillas was a male named Phil that lived between 1941 and 1958 at the St. Louis Zoo, estimated to weigh 250 kilograms (550 lb).  Phil’s recorded measurements were: height 1.7 m (5.6 ft), bust 182 cm (72 in), neck 91.5 cm (36.0 in), and wrist 38 cm (15 in).

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