• gorilla;
  • G.g. gorilla;
  • G.g. beringei;
  • G.g. graueri;
  • status;
  • sexual behavior;
  • sexual development


The current status of wild gorilla populations and observations of reproductive behavior in wild mountain gorillas are described. The entire world population of gorillas is now less than 12,000, of which about 500 are in captivity. Only about 3,000 wild gorillas live in conservation areas. There are 9,000-10,000 lowland gorillas, about 400 eastern lowland gorillas, and only about 220 mountain gorillas. The author observed mountain gorillas for 13 years in the Virunga Volcano region of Zaire, Rwanda, and Uganda. Among adult gorillas, 580 copulations were observed. Most of these were initiated by females. Details of sexual behavior and development in free-living gorillas are presented.