Have you been wondering about Silverback Gorillas ever since the tragic death of Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo? Here’s everything you need to know about the endangered species.
The world is still in an uproar after Harambe, a Silverback Gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, was shot and killed by zoo workers on Saturday, May 25. As an endangered species, many feel strongly that other measures could have been taken to prevent losing Harambe, all the while saving the little boy, 4, who fell into his enclosure that fateful day. It seems that one good thing has come out of Harambe’s death, and that is the massive interest in his species. Therefore, here are five fast facts about the Silverback Gorilla who continues to make headlines even after being killed.
1.) Silverback Gorilla Is Just A Fancy Way Of Saying ‘Male’
While a female gorilla is known as just that, a gorilla, the males are often known as silverback gorillas because of the silver hair that grows on their backs. Usually, the hair runs down the length of their bodies to their hips.
2.) Silverback Gorilla’s Have Arm Span’s Larger Than A Human Body
The adult male gorilla can range in height, from 5’6″ to 5’9″, but it’s their arm span that is most impressive. Depending on their size, a silverback gorilla’s arm span can range from 7’5″ to 8’5″ — which is nearly three feet larger than the average human length. The silverback’s can also weigh anywhere from 298 to 397lbs.
3.) Silverback Gorillas Are Very Protective Of Their Packs
It has been recorded that when a group of gorillas is attacked, one lone silverback will defend the pack until death. Oh, and gorilla groups are actually called “troops” — NOT packs. Interesting!
4.) Silverback Gorillas Can Live Up To 40 Years
The average lifespan of a gorilla is from 35 to 40 years of age, but it has been recorded that gorillas in captivity (such as a zoo) can live up to 50 years. One gorilla in particular is known as the oldest living gorilla in the world at age 59. So cool.
5.) All GorillaSpecies Are Endangered
Sadly, the loss of Harambe was felt hard throughout the animal kingdom because his species is severely endangered of going extinct. Mountain gorillas, Western gorillas, and Eastern gorillas are all on the endangered species list as there are only a few hundred of each left.