Gorillas M@ting : Reproduction, Babies, and Lifespan

Gorillas M@ting : Reproduction, Babies, and Lifespan

Females reach sexual maturity around the age of seven or eight years old. Their gestational period is approximately eight and a half months long. On average, they give birth to a sole baby every four years or so. Males mature more slowly, and they attain maturity between 12 and 13 years. Upon reaching maturity, males leave the troop and form their own with adult females that they kidnap from other bands during raids. The juveniles of the troop are all fathered by the one or two silverbacks that lead the group.

A baby is entirely helpless from birth to around three months and spends a good amount of time being carried in its mother’s arms. They also possess the ability to fiercely cling to their mother’s chest or back, but they are not able to care for themselves or walk during that time. A baby gorilla weighs only four to five pounds at birth.

Wild gorillas live anywhere between 20 and 40 years, while captive animals have been known to live well into their 40s. Until recently, the oldest known gorilla living in captivity was a female western lowland gorilla named Trudy. She died at the age of 63 in Little Rock Zoo in 2019. She was also believed to be the last captive gorilla in North America that was captured in the wild. As of 2021, a gorilla named Fatou is believed to be 64 years old. This makes Fatou the oldest gorilla in the world.

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