La Terre des Origines
GORILLAS, OUR RELATIVES
Pairi Daiza now has five large gorillas, all young adult males, divided into two groups. They have been given a living area worthy of their impressive appearance: two islands, each topped with a grassy hollow hill in the shape of a volcano. These are lit by the well of light in the crater and contain huge enclosures where the gorillas can walk about, climb on poles and ropes, sit in sand and watch us with their small, lively eyes. No-one can be left unmoved by their gaze, as these great apes are our closest relatives, after chimpanzees and bonobos: they are primates that share nearly 99% of our DNA.
Our gorillas are “western lowland gorillas”, which live on the Atlantic side of Central Africa, in Cameroon, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic. There are two other species: gorillas inhabiting the eastern lowlands and gorillas that live in the mountains of the countries of African Great Lakes region: Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. Although they look impressive, they are peaceful, gentle animals that live in small family groups. Mainly herbivorous, they feed on roots, grasses, leaves and bark, as well as seasonal fruits. They occasionally eat insects but never meat. They sleep in “nests” made from branches loosely put together each night, on the ground or in the branches of trees, depending on their movements during the day in search of food. They communicate with each other through cries and grunts and through a complex language of gestures.
Although they used to be numerous (100,000 only 20 years ago), western lowland gorillas are now classed as critically endangered due to deforestation, poaching and, more recently, disease, including a form of HIV, malaria and, above all Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever.
HOW SHOULD YOU BEHAVE AROUND GORILLAS?
The glass between you does not prevent interaction through eye contact or body language, gestures or voice. Gorillas are very sensitive and intelligent: they are perfectly capable of interpreting your behaviour. So please try not to behave arrogantly or disrespectfully, by staring, shouting or making sudden gestures. They will be more curious than stressed if they understand that you do not want to harm or humiliate them. They are close relatives: so please try not to start any family arguments!
You can observe 5 gorillas in Pairi Daiza:
The Gorillas in image
This world's activitiesYour pass for the price of
2 tickets !
Three islands with a total area of - 7000 m2, modelled on Nosy Komba - a small island north of Madagascar. This is the universe of our prosimians. More info
Everyone knows and loves the majestic elephant. Elephants, which are very intelligent and have prodigious memories, can live more than 70 years. More info