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Your Questions Answered

How do gorillas share knowledge?

Non-human primates don’t have the same speaking abilities we do to communicate thoughts and ideas. However, this doesn’t mean that gorillas can’t learn from each other! Studying exactly how gorillas learn is difficult, but research has shown that social learning, which is learning from others, can play an important role.  Gorillas have even been shown to learn through basic forms of imitation (e.g. copying specific body motions).  One area of potential social learning in gorillas is the recognizing snares.  It could be that gorillas learn that snares are dangerous without ever being caught in one by watching the reaction of experienced group members.  Link to snare aware story here?? 

How much do gorillas weigh?

Gorillas have a huge weight range from infancy to adulthood. Additionally, gorillas are sexually dimorphic, meaning that males and females have distinct physical differences. Within their lifespan, male gorillas may weigh anywhere between 4 to 450 pounds! Females weigh almost half as much as males once they are fully grown, at around 200 pounds. 

How can we volunteer with the gorillas?

We love that people are interested in supporting the work that we do through volunteering.  The technical nature of our work means that volunteer opportunities are few and when we do have them, we focus on providing opportunities for Rwandans and Congolese who are interested in conservation to gain skills through working with us.

Do gorillas face predation?

Gorillas can be predated upon by leopards, although given their large size and cohesive social groups, leopards do not appear to be the significant threat that they are in some places for chimpanzees.  Unfortunately, the largest predator of gorillas is humans, gorillas are poached for food in much of their range or can be caught in snares set for other animals.  We also are responsible for the other major threats facing gorillas– deforestation, climate change, habitat degradation and destruction, and mining. 

Can gorillas remember a human being that they met in the past?

Definitely, they can easily recognize people they know, just like we are able to recognize gorillas that we know!