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Wednesday, 15 April 2015


Gorillas were originally thought to be Humans when discovered by Hanno the Navigator, (circa 500 BC) a Carthaginian explorer on an expedition on the west African coast. Gorilla is the Greek word for "tribe of hairy women."

When Hanno reached the Ivory Coast,  he thought Gorillas were a race of humans and tried to capture some. He ended up killing them for being too violent and took their skins back to Carthage to put on display.

A baby gorilla named Colo entered the world at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio on December 22, 1956 becoming the first-ever gorilla born in captivity. Her name is a combination of Columbus and Ohio.

Weighing in at approximately 4 pounds, Colo, a western lowland gorilla, was the daughter of Millie and Mac, two gorillas captured in French Cameroon, who were brought to the Columbus Zoo in 1951.

Colo was the oldest gorilla in captivity in the world before her death aged 60 on January 17, 2017.

Guy the Gorilla, who became one of the enduring animal celebrities at London Zoo in the years after World War II, was seen by 62 million people. He died in 1978 while having a tooth operation — his molars had rotted from eating sweets thrown by adoring members of the public. A statue of him was unveiled on November 10, 1982 at London Zoo.

Guy The Gorilla statue

When a three-year-old boy fell into an enclosure at Brookfield Zoo, outside of Chicago in 1996, female gorilla Binti Jua protected the youngster from other animals, cradling him until he was rescued.

A gorilla's lifespan is between 35 and 40 years, although zoo gorillas may live for 50 years and more.

Their beds are nests that they build on the ground. Gorillas sleep as much as fourteen hours per day.

Gorillas are the biggest primates. A male gorilla can weigh up to 225 kilograms and stand 1.8 meters in height. The eastern gorilla is the largest living primate.

An adult male gorilla is called a silverback because of the distinctive silvery fur growing on their back and hips.

Each gorilla family has a silverback as leader who scares away other animals by standing on their back legs and beating their chest.

Gorillas are vegetarians.

Today, there are approximately 750 gorillas in captivity around the world and an estimated 100,000 lowland gorillas.

The eastern gorilla has become increasingly endangered since the 1990s, and the species was listed as Critically Endangered in September 2016 as its population continued to decrease. Between 1996 and 2016, the eastern gorilla lost more than 70 percent of its population, and by 2016 the total population was estimated to be less than 6,000

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