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Learning & Fun

We invite you to learn more here about the amazing animals that Dian Fossey introduced to the world and risked her life to save – the magnificent gorillas.

Types of Gorillas

Mountain Gorillas

Mountain gorilla

Conservation Status

Endangered, with a population of about 1,000

Where they Live

Rwanda, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Interesting Facts

Mountain gorillas were made famous by the research of Dian Fossey, who began her studies in 1967. For more information on the life and work of Dian Fossey, click here.

They are featured in the movie “Gorillas in the Mist,” based on Fossey’s book. 

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund protects about half of the gorilla families in Rwanda. To learn more about mountain gorilla protection, click here.

Grauer's Gorillas

Grauer's gorilla

Conservation Status

Critically endangered, with a population of about 6,800

Where they Live

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Interesting Facts

Most Grauer’s gorillas live outside of national parks, so have had little formal protection. It is estimated their population has declined by about 60% in recent decades.

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund protects Grauer’s gorillas living in community forests, in an area of more than 600,000 acres – that’s more than three times the size of New York City! For more information about our Grauer’s gorilla protection work, click here

Western Lowland Gorillas

Western Lowland Gorillas

Conservation Status

Critically endangered, with population estimates uncertain but possibly as high as 360,000. This subspecies has a bigger population than other types of gorillas, but due to continuing decline is still considered to be critically endangered.

Where they Live

Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon

Interesting Facts

Western lowland gorillas are the most widespread type of gorilla and occupy a variety of habitats. Their large range, which is often in very remote areas, makes it difficult to determine their total population.

This is the only gorilla subspecies found in zoos.

Cross River Gorillas

Cross River Gorillas

Conservation Status

Critically endangered, with a population of only about 300.

Where they Live

Cameroon, Nigeria

Interesting Facts

Because so few are left and are mainly in remote areas, this subspecies is mostly observed via camera trap images.

Even though there are very few Cross River gorillas left, they are scattered in a large area of about 3,000 square miles.

Tracking Gorillas

Following gorillas provides critical information on their habitat needs, which is crucial to their protection and conservation, both now and in the future.

Gorilla Family Trees

Studying gorilla relatedness is key to understanding their social lives. We have mapped family trees for more than six generations of mountain gorillas.

Which Gorilla Personality Matches Yours?

Just like us, gorillas have individual personalities. Find out who you are most like by taking our personality quiz!

Additional Resources

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Help us help gorillas.

Limited time offer through Feb 29th:
Adopt Uburinganire, Dian Fossey's birthday buddy.