Gorillas cannot swim, as their body structure is not adapted for swimming. They will sink if they enter deep water and may drown. However, gorillas are able to cross shallow streams and rivers by wading through them.
Gorillas have a distinctive shape that is not suited for swimming, in that their stomachs are larger than their chests. Their stomach size is attributed to their enlarged intestines, which digest the bulky fibrous vegetation they consume.
Large chests aid in floating, but gorillas’ chests are small in relation to their stomachs. Furthermore, Gorillas have larger muscles in their arms than in their legs unlike humans who have more muscles on the legs than arms.
The natural position of a gorilla in water therefore would be vertical, with the head above water and the legs and arms hanging down. With their arms heavier than their legs, gorillas would have trouble keeping their head above water. They couldn’t even float on their backs because of their large stomachs and the structure of their backbones.
This position would make it difficult for gorillas to move through water and they would quickly tire.
It also doesn’t help that their stomachs are larger than their chest area as large lungs often help with buoyancy.
Gorillas have been observed wading through water to cross shallow streams and rivers. They will walk with their head and shoulders above water while keeping their arms and legs close to their body. By doing this, gorillas are able to keep their balance and move through the water without being swept away by the current.
Animals that can swim naturally have bodies that are elongated and streamlined, with limbs that act as paddles. Gorillas, on the other hand, have stocky bodies with short limbs. Their small hands and feet are not well-suited for swimming. Additionally, gorillas lack the necessary layer of body fat that helps insulate aquatic animals from the cold water temperatures.
Are Gorillas Afraid Of Water?
Gorillas are not afraid of water, but they avoid entering deep water because they can not swim. Gorillas have been observed in the Republic of Congo wade out into the water to feed on very mineral rich vegetation floating on the surface, primarily hydro Charis.
Even in captivity they will enter large pools of water to cool off on hot days. When they do enter water, gorillas tend to keep their head and shoulders above the surface but have been know to occasionally immerse their entire heads. Gorillas have also been known to play in water and splash around like small children.
Can Gorillas Be Taught How To Swim?
Gorillas instinctively avoid deep water and will not try to cross rivers or streams unless they absolutely have to. However, in captivity, there are no documented cases of gorillas being taught to swim. Keepers at zoos and sanctuaries will sometimes give gorillas the opportunity to paddle around in shallow pools as part of their enrichment activities but these are shallow pools and not deep enough to swim in.
Their close relative the chimpanzee has been known to swim on occasion in captivity.
While gorillas and chimpanzees share a common ancestor, gorillas have evolved to become more adapted to life on the ground while chimpanzees have retained some of their ancestral tree-dwelling habits.
Do Gorillas Drink Water?
Gorillas drink water when it is available, but they get most of the moisture they need from the plants they eat. A gorilla’s diet consists of mostly fruits, leaves, and stems, which are about 80% water. In the wild, gorillas eat over 100 different kinds of plants and spend most of their day foraging for food.
In captivity, gorillas are fed a diet of fruits, vegetables, and pellets. Timothy hay is also given to gorillas as it is a good source of fiber. Gorillas in zoos will also drink water out of a cup or hose.
Do Gorillas Sweat?
Gorillas do sweat, but not as much as humans. Humans have more sweat glands over their body than gorillas. Gorillas also have thicker fur, which helps them regulate their body temperature. When gorillas are hot, they will often sit in water or put vegetation on their body to cool down.
How Do Gorillas Sleep In The Wild?
Gorillas sleep in the wild either in nests or trees. Nests are made out of vegetation and are built every night. Trees are also used as sleeping quarters, but not as often as nests. Gorillas will build their nests in trees if there are no suitable trees nearby.
In captivity, gorillas will sleep in hammocks or on the ground.
Do Gorillas Have Enemies?
In the wild, gorillas have very few enemies. The biggest threat to gorillas is humans. Humans hunt gorillas for their meat and destroy their habitat for farming and logging.
Gorillas also have to compete with other animals for food and shelter. In some areas, gorillas share their habitat with elephants, leopards, and chimpanzees. These animals can also be a threat to gorillas, but they are much more likely to avoid confrontation than to fight.
Do Gorillas Live In Families?
Gorillas live in families called troops. Troops are made up of one silverback male, several females, and their offspring. Silverback gorillas are the dominant male in the troop and are typically the only gorillas that breed.
Are Gorillas Fierce?
Gorillas are not naturally fierce animals, but they will protect their troop if necessary. Silverback gorillas are the most likely to fight if the troop is threatened. They will use their size and strength to intimidate predators and competitors.
Gorillas are observed in the wild to be gentle and loving animals. They are often seen hugging, kissing, and grooming each other. Mothers are very protective of their young and will fight fiercely to defend them.
Do Gorillas Make Good Pets?
Gorillas are not good pets. They are wild animals that need to live in their natural habitat. Gorillas are also very strong and can be dangerous if they feel threatened.
A silverback has the strength of 10 men and can easily kill a human.
While gorillas cannot swim, they are excellent climbers and spend most of their time in trees. Their arms are longer than their legs and their fingers are long, curved, and powerful, which helps them to swing easily from branch to branch. Gorillas are also very strong, and can use their strength to climb up steep slopes and mountains.
Gorillas Under Threat
Gorillas are an endangered species and their population is declining. The biggest threat to gorillas is humans. Humans hunt gorillas for their meat and destroy their habitat for farming and logging.
How Can We Help Gorillas?
We can help gorillas by protecting their habitat and stopping the illegal hunting and trade of gorillas and their body parts. We can also support organizations that are working to conservation gorillas and their habitat.
You can also go on Gorilla Trekking Safaris and learn more about these amazing animals!
Part of the money you spend on your gorilla trek will be used to help conservation efforts. So not only will you have an amazing experience, but you’ll also be helping gorillas!