Mountain gorillas consume as large quantities of food as needed to sustain their massive bulk. An adult male mountain gorilla can consume up to 34 kg (75 pounds) of vegetation a day, while a female can eat up to 18 kg (40 pounds).
Mountain gorillas spend most of their time in the mountainous area and never move to the cultivated area that surrounds their home to feed. Gorillas rarely have to drink water since they get a large quantity of water from its diet.
Gorilla diet differs between and within gorilla species.
Mountain gorillas mostly eat foliage, such as leaves, stems, pith, and shoots, while fruit makes up a very small part of their diets. Mountain gorilla food is widely distributed and neither individuals nor groups have to compete with one another.
Their home ranges vary from 3 to 15 square kilometer and their movements range around 500 meters or less on an average day. Despite eating a few species in each habitat, mountain gorillas have flexible diets and can live in a variety of habitats.
Eastern lowland gorillas have more diverse diets, which vary seasonally. Leaves and pith are commonly eaten, but fruits can make up as much as 25% of their diets. Since fruit is less available, lowland gorillas must travel farther each day, and their home ranges vary from 2.7–6.5 square kilometers. Eastern lowland gorillas will also eat insects, preferably ants.
Western lowland gorillas depend on fruits more than the others and they are more dispersed across their range. They travel even farther than the other gorilla subspecies, at 1,105 meters per day on average, and have larger home ranges of 7–14 square kilometers.
Western lowland gorillas have less access to terrestrial herbs, although they can access aquatic herbs in some areas. Termites and ants are also eaten.
Cross River Gorillas eat more liana and tree bark throughout the year and less fruit during periods of scarcity, than Western Lowland Gorillas. In their search for food the gorillas may leave their usual ranges, especially when food is scare, either to search in other parts of the forest, or to visit the lowlands, where they can come into conflict with farmers.
Although they may damage crops such as banana and plantain, gorillas are not the most destructive animals in this region.
If you want to see gorillas feeding, Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done in Volcanoes National Park or Gorilla trekking in Congo in is done in Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park
GORILLA FACTS FAQs
- what is a gorilla?
- Where do gorillas get their name from?
- How many species of gorillas are there?
- Where can you see gorillas in Africa?
- What is the size of the Mountain gorilla?
- What’s the biggest type of gorilla?
- What makes mountain gorillas unique? |What is special about mountain gorillas?
- How do mountain gorillas look like/What special features do mountain gorillas have?
- What is special about a mountain gorilla’s nose? /Do gorillas have unique nose prints?
- What is the daily life of a gorilla like?
- How do mountain gorillas move?
- Can a mountain gorilla climb? /Can gorillas climb trees?
- Do gorillas live alone? /Do mountain gorillas live in families?
- Do gorillas live in nests? /Do gorillas build nests?
- What do mountain gorillas eat? /Will a gorilla eat a human?
- Why does gorilla have canines?
- How do Gorillas communicate?
- How smart is a mountain gorilla? How intelligent are gorillas?
- Why do gorillas beat their chest?
- Do female gorillas beat their chests?
- Why can’t you look at gorilla’s eyes?
- Can a gorilla be a pet?
- What is a baby gorilla called?
- How many babies do female gorillas have?
- How long do baby gorillas stay with their mothers?
- What is the average life span of a mountain gorilla? /How long does a gorilla live?
- Are mountain gorillas friendly? /Are gorillas gentle?
- Can mountain gorillas be aggressive? /Are gorillas aggressive?
- How strong is a mountain gorilla? /How strong is a silverback gorilla?
- What is a gorilla afraid of? /What do gorillas fear?
- Who are gorilla enemies? /Do gorillas have predators?
- Are there mountain gorillas in zoos?
- How many mountain gorillas are left in the world?
- Why are mountain gorillas endangered?
- How can we help save mountain gorillas?