Dog Companions

Monkeys are cute but are not domesticated animals
Dogs are domesticated and cute and our best friends.
Choose a dog every time over exotic pets and you will be happier.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

GORILLAS - Diet & Eating Habits

Gorilla Facts

Daniel Simmonds (Zookeeper) gives expert video advice on: How similar are gorillas to humans?; How heavy are gorillas?; How strong are gorillas? and more...

1. An adult male gorilla may consume more than 18 kg (40 lb) of vegetation per day.
2. Gorillas rarely drink in the wild because they consume succulent vegetation that is comprised of almost half water as well as morning dew.


1. Gorillas can use their incredible strength to break apart vegetation. An adult male for example can shred apart a whole banana tree to get to the interior tender pith.
2. Gorillas are very selective foragers. They usually only eat parts of vegetation. For example they may eat only the leaves, pith, stalk, or roots of a particular plant. They use their agile lips and hand dexterity to manipulate the vegetation for the particular portion they want to consume.
3. Gorillas do not over exploit an area for food. They crop the vegetation in a manner that allows for quick replenishment to occur.
4. Gorillas have been documented using the hair on the back of their hands to absorb water and then sucking it.

What do gorillas eat?

Gorillas are entirely herbivorous, that means they eat only vegetation in the wild. Here in the zoo we replicate that as close as possible by providing the gorillas with a lot of what's called growls, which is basically very leafy branches. But also we give the gorillas a very wide range of vegetables, as well as some fruits, but mainly vegetables. So for example, each of the gorillas here will eat between four and five kilograms of greens per day. We keep the fruit content of their diet to a fair minimum, because gorillas, like humans, will tend to put on weight. So, at the moment, the gorillas just get the one banana each per day. But if we feel the gorillas are looking a bit more athletic at times then we'll certainly give them a bit more fruit. But generally speaking its a very, very controlled diet. We use specialist software called zootrition, which you should think of being a form of zoo nutrition, hence the word zootrition. It's a specific software program that will tell us exactly how many calories are in a particular type of food and then we'll formulate a diet down to the actual gram. So its' very healthy for the gorillas here at ZSL Zoo.

What do gorillas eat in the wild?

In the wild, a gorilla will eat vast volumes of vegetation. That would be anything from something like the Aframomum, which is a form of wild ginger, through to fruits. Gorillas eat a lot of fruits, like in cental Africa the Deutarium fruit which is a kind of cucumber smelling fruit. It actually doesn't taste that nice, it's not like eating an apple or a banana, but the gorillas certainly like it. Gorillas will forage all day and they'll eat pretty much all of their waking hours when they're not playing or just relaxing because gorillas are generally quite greedy animals and they will just constantly eat through the day. Here in the ZSL London zoo we replicate that by providing the gorillas with small amounts of food on a regular basis.

Are gorillas clean animals?

 Gorillas are fairly clean. They're certainly quite smelly, and if you get up close to a gorilla you'll certainly know it. Gorillas have got quite a pungent smell. But in terms of personal hygiene, they certainly don't wash themselves. Although, having said that, what we have seen in captivity here at London Zoo, is that the gorillas will sometimes actually wash their faces and their armpits on a very hot day with water. They have a waterfall on their island, and the gorillas will use that water. So there is an element of hygiene there, but that's not done every day by them.

No comments:

Post a Comment