Introducing Gorilla Groups
Do you know what is a group of gorillas called? We call it a “troop.” Usually, a troop will have between 5 and 30 gorillas. However, sometimes, it can be as small as two or as big as 50. At the head of each troop, there’s a leader known as a “silverback.” This silverback male makes sure the group stays safe and finds food. You’ll discover females, their babies, and sometimes a few other males within the troop.
Different Names for Gorilla Groups
While “troop” is a common name, people have other names for gorilla groups, too, like:
You might laugh at “whoop.” This name started as a joke from a British TV show called “Not the Nine O’Clock News.” People don’t always agree with using the term “herd” because it’s often for animals that eat grass. However, sometimes, when there’s a big group of gorillas, some might call it a herd. If gorillas unite for a particular reason, we say it’s a “coalition.” And a small family of gorillas, maybe with just the Silverback and his closest family, is a “triplet.”
How Does a Gorilla Troop Work?
In a gorilla troop, the Silverback is the boss. He decides everything – from where they’ll go, what they’ll munch on, to how they’ll interact with other gorillas. And, of course, he ensures that everyone remains safe.
Everyone in the troop respects the Silverback. Females tend to follow whatever the Silverback does. Their kids watch and learn how to behave from him.
Life Inside a Gorilla Group
Life inside a gorilla troop can be challenging. The Silverback has to ensure everyone gets along and watch for dangers. Females are crucial in keeping everyone calm and caring for the babies. These little gorillas learn life skills mostly from their moms.
What Challenges Do Gorilla Troops Face?
There are problems that gorilla troops face:
- Losing their homes: As forests disappear, it’s tough for gorillas to find food and safe places.
- Hunting: Some people hunt gorillas for food or their body parts.
- Getting sick: Gorillas can catch diseases, some of which come from humans.
How Can We Help Gorillas?
To assist gorilla troops, we can:
- Guard their homes.
- Stop hunting them.
- Teach everyone about gorillas.
- Give to organizations that protect gorillas.
Getting to Know Different Gorillas
There are several types of gorillas:
- Western lowland gorillas: Common in central and west Africa. They have black fur with a shiny silver patch on their male backs.
- Eastern lowland gorillas: Live in east Africa with brown fur and a similar shiny patch.
- Mountain gorillas: The enormous gorillas living in central African mountains with grey fur.
- Cross River gorillas: The rarest type, with only about 300 in the forests between Nigeria and Cameroon.
Gorillas’ Eating Habits, Behavior, and Communication
Gorillas eat mostly leaves, fruits, stems, and shoots. Sometimes, they munch on bugs and tree bark. They enjoy staying with their troop members. The Silverback is the primary protector and provider. Gorillas talk to each other using sounds like grunts or barks, but they also use faces and hand signs.
Birth and Life of Gorillas
Female gorillas, around ten years old, have a single baby called a “cub.” These cubs stay close to their moms for about three years. Wild gorillas can live up to 50 years, but when they’re in places like zoos, they usually live around 30 years.
Threats and Protection
Gorillas face dangers like losing their homes, hunting, and sickness. Yet, we can help by guarding their homes, reducing hunting, teaching others about gorillas, and supporting organizations that look after them. When we do this, we’re helping these fantastic animals live happily.