The Western Lowland Gorilla, like the Cross River Gorilla is a western gorilla subspecies. It can be found in Angola, Cameroon, DRC, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. An interesting fact: it’s the only gorilla you find in zoos.
It seems that males in this subspecies like to travel alone and move between groups as a result of the solidarity they experienced before finding their own breeding group. Before reaching the age of sexual maturity, males leave their natal group and go through a “bachelor stage” that can last several years either in solitary or in a nonbreeding group. On the contrary, it seems that women are never found alone.
Gorillas have abnormal and compulsive behavior such as eating disorders—such as regurgitation, re-ingestion, and coprophagy—self-injurious or conspecific aggression, pacing, rocking, sucking of fingers or lip smacking, and over grooming. Groups of bachelor gorillas containing young silverbacks have significantly higher levels of aggression. Remind you of anyone?!
The presence of Western Lowland Gorillas has allowed humans to further the study of how gorillas compare with us in regards to human diseases, behavior, linguistic, and psychological aspects of their lives. They are hunted illegally for their skins and meat in Africa and captured to be sold to zoos. While defended as being economically profitable for restaurants and local people, the sale of these gorillas is a hugely contributing factor to the endangered status of the Western Lowland Gorilla. They are also seen as a crop pest in Western Africa because they raid native plantations and therefore destroy what would have otherwise been valuable crops.
Conservation is based on a holistic model with four key parts: daily protection of gorillas, scientific research on gorillas and their ecosystems, educating the next generation of scientists and conservationists and helping the needs of local people.
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