Western Lowland Gorilla

"Portrait of the Big Guy" by Don Seegmiller (digital)

Great apes fascinate me.
They are so intelligent; this is
what I tried to convey in my
portrait of this male lowland
gorilla. I hope that his
expression and eyes show
expression and intelligence. I
gave him a very subtle smile,
hoping to add to the image
as a whole. I knew it would
be a challenge to paint this
animal up close and get the
fur looking right; hopefully I
was successful.
— Don Seegmiller

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 The western lowland gorilla lives in the heavy rainforests of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea, as well as in large areas in Gabon.

Map__Lowland Gorilla.jpg

Family life

 Gorillas are usually found on the ground in communities of up to 30 individuals (a troop). Troops led by one dominant, older adult male, often called a silverback because of the swath of silver hair on his back. Troops also include young males, some females and their offspring.


The average lifespan for a lowland gorilla is 35 years.

Hunting Habits/Diet

Gorillas are vegetarians. They eat roots, shoots, fruit, wild celery, and tree bark and pulp.


Because of poaching and disease, the gorilla’s numbers have declined by more than 60% over the last 20 to 25 years. The exact number is not known because they inhabit some of the most dense and remote rainforests in Africa.

Fun Fact

Infant gorillas throw tantrums if they don’t get their way, just like human babies. Western lowland gorillas live in the smallest family groups of all gorillas. When you see a gorilla in a zoo, it is almost certainly a western lowland gorilla.


 Their status is Critically Endangered.

Portrait of a western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) close up at a short distance. Silverback - adult male of a gorilla in a native habitat.