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What Do Gorillas Eat?

Gorilla Food Types

The gorilla diet depends on what their habitat offers, their sub species and the season of the year. Even with differences in what determines their diet, gorillas stick to mainly a vegetarian diet.

Gorillas survive on vegetation such as stems, fruits, leaves, roots, vines, herbs, trees, and grasses though these species relatively have low nutritional quality.

This is the reason as to why they feed in bulk and good enough those in their natural habitat live in high altitude tropical areas that provide their food all year round.

A male adult gorilla diet is estimated at more than 18 kg (40 lbs.) of vegetation each single day. The gorillas are selective on what they eat, they consume specific parts of the plant.

Mountain Gorilla Diet

Mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) only found in four African parks of Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park (Uganda), Volcanoes national park (Rwanda) and Virunga national park (Congo).

These giants consume at least 142 plant species (about 86% of their diet) mainly Galium, thistles, celery and nettles along with only 3 types of fruit since the high altitudes in which they live in provide vegetation all year round.

A Uganda gorilla safari, Gorilla safari Rwanda, or a Congo gorilla trekking safari is always undertaken to meet these giants.

Volcanoes National Park Rwanda


Western Lowland Gorilla Diet

Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) that live in the dense tropical forests of western Democratic Republic of Congo, feed on at least 97 plant species with more than 60% of the gorilla diet being vegetables.

The western lowland gorillas however do consume termites which make up 3% of their diet, they break termite nests to feed on larvae. These gorillas are easily seen in their natural habitat on Congo gorilla safaris to Kahuzi Biega national park.

Eastern lowland gorilla diet

Eastern lowland gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri) endemic to the Eastern forests of the Democratic republic of Congo feed on at least 104 plant species.

These feed on more vegetation than their western counterparts.  To have an experience close to them, a Congo gorilla safari must organized to the pristine habitat in Congo.

The lowland gorilla diet is particularly based on plants belonging to the ginger and arrowroot families. An adult male Grauer’s gorilla is estimated to eat about 30 kg of plants every day whereas the adult female consumes about 18 kg.

Cross River Gorilla Diet

Cross River gorillas (Gorilla gorilla diehli) living in the mountain borders between Cameroon and Nigeria feed on fruit, leaves, stems, piths, and some invertebrates.

All gorillas occasionally ingest soil. This very fertile soil probably contains minerals that are missing in the plants they consume.

Do Gorillas Drink?

Since they consume large amounts of vegetation, gorillas rarely drink in the wild since their feed is comprised of almost half water and they live in low temperature areas.

They also absorb water from due using the fur on the back of their hands and then suck it.

The gorillas do have a healthy diet, go gorilla trekking and learn a tip from them.

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