Gorilla Lunch Time At The San Diego Zoo
“Having lunch with mama,” is a gorilla blessing! Any day, is the perfect day, to go out to eat with mama. The Western Lowland gorillas at the San Diego Zoo love their meadow filled with many trees. A great number of these trees bear fruit, which is like paradise to the gorillas. With many beautiful waterfalls and lush green vegetation, food is plentiful at the zoo. A natural landscape complete with plenty of fruit is the perfect environment for content gorillas.
Gorillas live in social groups that include one adult male or silverback as they are called. He will usually have several females and their offspring. The Western Lowland Gorillas prefer to keep their groups small and intimate. They prefer their family unites to be around 5 to 10 in size. This is considerably smaller than other species of gorillas. This could be because their main diet is fruit. Fruit trees can be sparse in many of their natural environments. Most areas can only support a small size group. Each group is usually quite stable, with the same male retaining his leadership for many years. The female members of his harem often stay with the same male for life. This happens as long as everyone is getting along with each other. Thus the babies are content and raised as a member of one large happy family.
When the babies grow into puberty, the males and the females will usually leave the group. The males attach themselves to bachelor groups and will roam around until they have their own harem selected. Female gorillas usually attach to an older male rather quickly. Occasionally, two silverbacks will fight over leadership of a group, but this happens rarely. When it does, you will see much demonstration of strength and even on occasion a fight leading to the death of one. Generally, gorillas live in peace, both in their groups and when they are on the road looking.
Gorillas are able to breed at any time of the year. Their gestation time is just slightly shorter than that of humans. They most generally have only one baby at a time. Twins are very rare for the Western Lowland Gorilla. Gorilla babies are quite small, usually around 5 pounds. For the first three or four months, they will catch a ride with their mother. She will continue to nurse them for at least three years. Mama is very attentive! She spends many hours a day bonding with her little one. Each little one will usually get at least four years of her undivided attention. Sometime after that fourth year, she will breed again.
The Western Lowland Gorillas spend most of their day looking for food, eating, and resting. Since over 50% of their food is fruit, this is their major job. Adult males can often eat close to 50 pounds of food a day. That is a healthy appetite! Is it any wonder, that having a special lunch with mama is the highlight of the day?
If you are looking for a special place to spend the day, why not visit The San Diego Zoo. Southern California has the perfect weather most of the year for a family adventure. Grab the family and head for the zoo. It is a perfect day for a zoo adventure.