Visit Our Troop
There’s always something fun going on in the Calgary Zoo’s gorilla exhibit. Smart, gentle and peaceful, our gorillas form part of a close-knit family, called a troop. The younger members' boundless energy always guarantees a show as they play, swing, climb and forage for food.
2016 is an exciting year for our gorilla troup, as one of our females, Kioja, gave birth to her first baby on March 9, 2016. This is the first gorilla pregnancy since 2008, so keep up to date here.
Silverback Kakinga was a valuable member of the Gorilla Species Survival Plan, not only because of his amiable personality, but also because his genetics have added valuable diversity to the North American population of gorillas. We are deeply saddened to share that he passed away on May 14, 2016 at the old age of 37.
Gorilla babies are born totally dependent on their mothers. Weighing only about two kilograms (four pounds), they cling to mom’s fur until they’re about four months old, when they start to ride on her back.
Here's where we call home
Lowland tropical forests of Cameroon, Gabon and Congo, Africa Western lowland gorillas live in dense and remote rainforests, preferring swampy areas with dense, leafy growth.
In the wild, populations of western lowland gorillas are under siege, having dropped more than 80 percent in just three generations. These gorillas face exceptionally high levels of hunting, disease and habitat loss.
We are family
Western lowland gorillas live in groups, called troops, with complex social structures. Troops are led by dominant, older adult males, called silverbacks because of the silver hair that marks the otherwise dark fur on their backs. Troops also include young males, several females and their offspring. Silverbacks are responsible for organizing their troop’s activities – eating, nesting and moving around their home range.
Catching a ride with mom
Newborn gorillas are tiny, weighing only about two kilograms (four pounds) at birth. They are totally dependent on their moms, only able to cling to her fur. By the time they are four months old, they can ride on their moms’ backs and will continue to look for piggyback rides until they are two or three years old.
Cell Phone Recycling Program
Recycling your old cell phones is just one way that we can all lend a hand in preserving the habitat for these amazing primates. Each home in North America has an average of 3-4 cell phones, unused, waiting to be recycled. When cell phones are recycled, not only do we prevent noxious chemicals from leeching into landfills and our groundwater, but a mineral used in the creation of a small mineral chip found in every cell phone is also recycled. This mineral is coltan which is mined in areas where gorillas live. When cell phones are recycled, so is the coltan which means that gorilla habitat is preserved. For more information on our cell phone recycling program, click here.
At a Glance
Gorilla gorilla gorilla
68 - 181 kg (150 - 400 lb.)
1.2 - 1.8 m (4 - 6 ft.)
Lowland tropical forests with dense ground-level plant growth in Cameroon, Gabon and Congo.
Gorillas are vegetarians, feeding in the morning and afternoon on juicy, stemmed plants. They also eat leaves, berries, ferns and bark. Gorillas can climb trees up to 15 metres (49 feet) tall in search of food.