Twycross Zoo - Follow Your Heart

Opening Times: 10am - 6pm

Charity Heart

Twycross Zoo is a registered charity (number 501841) which exists to support conservation, education and research.

Western Lowland Gorilla

Scientific Name: Gorilla gorilla gorilla

General information

Western lowland gorillas are the smallest of the four gorilla subspecies, which also include the Cross River gorillas, Eastern Lowland gorillas, and Mountain gorillas. Western lowland gorillas have shorter black-brown hair, longer arms, and a more prominent ridge along their brow. Like their cousins, western lowland gorillas are endangered and face threats from habitat loss, the bush meat, pet trade and infectious diseases.

Gorillas can climb trees, but they’re usually found on the ground in communities—known as troops—of up to 30 individuals. Troops are led by one dominant, older adult male, often called a silverback because of the swath of silver hair that adorns his otherwise dark fur.

Troops also include several other young males, some females, and their offspring. The leader organises troop activities, such as eating, nesting in leaves, and moving about the group’s home range. Though gorillas can stand upright, they prefer traveling on all fours, pushing themselves forward with their knuckles and soles of their feet.

Size and weight

The Western Lowland Gorilla is the smallest of all gorilla subspecies.

Height: Up to 1.8 meters in height

Weight: 140-270kg

Life expectancy

Life expectancy: 35 to 40 years in the wild and up to 60 years in captivity

Conservation status

Habitat and location

Habitat: Montane, primary and secondary forest and lowland swampland.

Location: Central and Western Africa in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

Food and eating habits

Gorillas spend most of their day foraging for food and their diet is similar to that of the chimpanzee, however, these gorillas eat larger fruits and mature leaves and stems. The gorillas diet includes parts of at least 97 different plant species, as well as invertebrates, such as termites and ants.

About 67% of their diet is fruit, 17% is seeds, leaves, stems and pith. Animal prey includes termites, caterpillars, and other insect larvae. Interestingly, Gorillas don’t need to drink as they satisfy their need for water through the food that they eat.

Notable Twycross residents

  • Oumbi is our male silverback and has lived at Twycross since 2009.

Where to find at Twycross Zoo

Our gorilla habitat can be found on the far side of the zoo between the the bonobo habitat and Chimpanzee Eden.

Twycross zoo map 2022


The money made through our animal adoptions contributes to looking after zoo animals as well as endangered species across the world. Adopt one of your favourite animals from our online shop and receive your adoption gift pack through the post – a perfect present for all animal lovers.





Ape Action Africa

Established in 1996 as Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund, its initial objective was to improve the living conditions of primates housed at Mvog-Betsi Zoo in Yaounde, Cameroon. Over the next 12 years the mission expanded and they began to take in orphans of the bushmeat and pet trades, chimpanzees and gorillas in the main. In 2008 the CWAF was rebranded as Ape Action Africa.

Key Facts:

  • Though they’re normally quiet animals, western lowland gorillas have an extensive array of vocalisations—at least 22 different hoots, barks, and screams, each with its own meaning.
  • In captivity, gorillas have displayed significant intelligence and have even learned simple human sign language.
  • Female gorillas give birth to one infant after a pregnancy of nearly nine months. Unlike their powerful parents, newborns are tiny—weighing about four pounds—and can be found clinging to their mothers’ fur.
  • Young gorillas, from three to six years old, spend much of their day at play, climbing trees, chasing one another, and swinging from branches.