What Do Mountain Gorillas Eat In The Wild And Captivity? - What Plants Do Mountain Gorillas Eat?

Updated: 10 Aug 2021



When we talk about mountain gorillas' diet, one question comes into mind: what do mountain gorillas eat? Mountain gorillas are herbivores famous for eating fruits, bamboo, shoots, and stems. However, like Western lowland gorillas, some gorillas eat ants and insects.

The average adult mountain gorilla eats 18 kg of food per day. The largest and most potent primates on Earth are mountain gorillas. They employ their tremendous power to shatter the surrounding plants to get at the branch of the plant they are interested in. Mountain gorillas are the world's giant living monkeys and frequently display human-like behavior and feelings, such as laughing and melancholy. In the article, we will discuss: what does a mountain gorilla eat?

What Do Mountain Gorillas Eat?

Mountain gorillas primarily consume bamboo and different food types, including various plants and fruits. Their diet consists of the following items:

  • Shoots
  • Wild Celery
  • Tree Bark
  • Roots
  • Fruits
  • Pulp
  • Grubs
  • Ants

Sometimes they catch snails to satisfy their hunger and eat with complete joy.

Mountain gorillas rotate continually from one location to another, allowing the plants to develop again. As a result, their eating behavior enables prompt replenishment.

The Mountain Gorillas are picky eaters; they consume various sections of many plants. For instance, they might exclusively eat the base of one plant, the stem of another, the leaves and fruit of still another, etc.

What Do Mountain Gorillas Eat In The Rainforest?

Lowland gorillas consume a lot of fruit, but mountain gorillas mostly eat the green branches of plants. Mountain gorillas like to eat more seeds and tree bark because there aren't enough tasty fruits to eat during the dry season.

In the rainforest, mountain gorillas consume plants, leaves, shoots, and stems. This food makes up about 85% of their diet, but they may also consume larvae, snails, ants, roots, barks, and decaying wood, an excellent sodium and salt source.

What Do Mountain Gorillas Eat In The Wild?

In the wild, mountain gorillas' food consists of the following items:

  • Tree Bark
  • Snails
  • Worms
  • Insects
  • Ants
  • Termites
  • Larva
  • Fruits
  • Shoots
  • Roots

Mountain gorillas' preferred meal is bamboo in the wild; mountain gorillas consume various other plants. Sometimes fruits become scarce and only make up a small amount of their diet. These gorillas pursue snails, grubs, and ants as well. Therefore, the only natural prey for a mountain gorilla is insects and snails, albeit they only make up a small portion of their diet.

What Do Mountain Gorillas Eat In Captivity?

In captivity, caretakers provide up to six meals daily for a caged gorilla. Fruits, including pears, bananas, strawberries, and guavas, are among the most often provided items to captive gorillas. Gorillas kept in captivity may also enjoy a variety of flora. Gorillas kept in captivity often consume the plants, branches, roots, and bark. However, caretakers provide them with fruits regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Plants Do Mountain Gorillas Eat?

More than 100 types of fruits and plants are in their habitat to consume. They are herbivores and eat leafy plants, barks, leaves, bamboo, roots, shoots, and fruits. However, most gorillas consume a large portion of high-quality plant stems and leaves. Gorillas also eat pith, a tissue generated from the branches of several blooming plants.

2. What Fruits Do Mountain Gorillas Eat?

Berry, banana, and guava fruits are among their favorite meals. In captivity, they prefer to ingest the following fruits with genuine interest:

  • Guavas
  • Bananas
  • Berry
  • Apples

While in the wild, they like to consume the following fruits:

  • Tetrapleura
  • Randolph
  • Chrysophyllum
  • Genera Dialium

The mountain gorillas hardly ever get to consume such delectable "treats" because there aren't many fruit-bearing trees where they inhabit. The Rubus bush's berries, accessible periodically, are one exceptional delicacy.

3. What Animals Do Mountain Gorillas Eat?

Mountain gorillas are herbivores (vegetarians) and can weigh up to 400 pounds in adulthood; they do not like eating other animals' flesh. Instead, they mainly eat leaves and fruits but sometimes ingest ants, snails, larva, and termites if there is a shortage of fruits and leaves.

4. What Insects Do Mountain Gorillas Eat?

Mountain gorillas primarily consume plants, including fruit, tree bark, and tree pulp. A gorilla may consume up to 40 pounds (18 kg) of plants daily. But, sometimes, they like to eat insects and small animals, including ants, bugs, and larvas. Ant-eating gives them protein and other nutrients. 

5. What Do Baby Mountain Gorillas Eat?

Mountain Gorilla babies drink their moms' milk to survive. However, since ants and other insects are rich in proteins, young mountain and western low gorillas occasionally consume them in limited quantities.

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