Did you know…? The worsening conservation status of gorillas has made breeding efforts under human care more important than ever.
Gorillas are the largest living primates and the most closely related animal species (after chimpanzees). In fact, the percentage difference between gorilla and human DNA is only 1.6%. At Loro Parque we house a group of six beautiful single males of the western lowland gorilla species.
In the tropical forests where they live, they are grouped in families with a dominant male, a group of several females and their young. When gorillas reach sexual maturity, they often leave family groups and temporarily gather in bachelor and bachelorette groups until they form a new clan or take control of an existing one. One peculiarity is that when gorillas reach maturity, they become silverbacks, which take their name from the white coloration of the hairs that cover that area. The leaders of the group are usually adult specimens and therefore silverbacks.
We were the first zoo in the world in which a group of single males was established and this pioneering work allowed us to release specimens that could not yet form their own breeding group. Thanks to the recreation of this social structure in the park, we continue to maintain a genetic reserve to create, in the future, new breeding groups or to renew existing ones, while solving a problem of individual animal welfare.