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Gorillas live in groups consisting of 6-7 individuals up to 35 members. Usually there is one leading male, accompanied by several females with their young. When a baby gorilla is born it weighs on average 3-4 pounds (1.4-1.8 kg) which is about half the weight of a newborn human baby.

However, this baby develops twice as fast. Within 40 weeks it can walk and reaching 3 years it slowly becomes independent. At 6 years they are about 1.20 meter tall and weigh almost 70 kg. At this age the female gorilla matures, though they continue gaining weight for the next 4 years.

Males on the other hand don’t reach maturity till they’re 10 years old. When their black back starts turning into grey it is time for them to leave the parental group. They wander alone or join other males for some time, before attracting females who will join them. In this way they form their own family.

Gorillas reproduce slowly, hence the world population doesn’t increase rapidly. Gestation period is approximately 8.5 months and gorilla mothers give birth to a baby once every 4 years. Unfortunately at least 30% doesn’t survive their first year because of diseases and accidents.

Another situation that causes death among the baby gorillas is when their father dies and another silverback takes over. This new male often kills all the babies of his predecessor, securing his own genes in the posterity



Related links:
- Gorlilla Life - Gorilla Permits in Uganda and Rwanda
- Gorilla Families - Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
- Gorilla trekking in Uganda