Portrait of gorilla (46)
|This photo was taken at the Gramby zoo in Québec|
The gorilla is a shy and, for the most part, inoffensive vegetarian -- a far cry from the fearsome, aggressive creature depicted in films and comic books. Only when provoked or threatened does it rise to an erect position and beat its cupped hands against its chest in an attempt to intimidate intruders. Gorillas are the largest and most powerful of the apes. Adult males reach an average height of 150-170 cm and weigh from 135 to 230 kg. Females are smaller, but both male and female are tremendously powerful, possessing the ability to tear branches from bushes and uproot small trees. They spend their days quietly, either in a leisurely search for food, or resting in the warm sun.
Unfortunately, these animals, native to the equatorial regions of Africa, are diminishing in number due, in part, to illegal hunting and advancing civilization. Also, laws prohibiting, rather than just controlling, the capture and sale of gorillas need to be passed and enforced in all countries within the species’ range.