Today’s animal of the day is the Western Lowland Gorilla. Found in Africa around the Congo Basin, this primate’s known for its quiet, docile, peaceful nature. They’re across Angola, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon.

Physical Characteristics

  • Western Lowland Gorillas are the smallest of the gorilla species. Adult males have cone-shaped heads due to prominent, bony ridges on the top and base of their skulls.
  • Like humans, they’ve got unique and distinctive fingerprints.
  • Their body hair is closer to brown than the gray-black found in other gorilla subspecies. Infant Western Lowland Gorillas have small tufts of white fur on their rumps. Adults and mothers use this distinguishing feature to monitor infants in their group.
  • Adult males have a silver streak on their backs that sometimes extends to their rump and thighs. Mature females may develop gray hair around the neck and top as they age.

Diet And Feeding Habits

  • Like other gorillas, the Western Lowland subspecies consume a primarily vegetarian diet. They eat leaves, vines, shrubs, and plant stems.
  • They love eating seasonal fruits, more than most members of their subspecies
  • Adult males may consume up to 45 pounds of food daily.
  • Their primary source of protein comes from insects they find on leaves and fruit trees.

Conservation Status

  • Unfortunately, due to hunting and poaching, Western Lowland Gorillas are now considered extinct in the Democratic Republic of Congo and classified as critically endangered by animal conservation and welfare organizations worldwide.