Cross River Gorilla Facts, Habitat, Diet, Scientific Name, Population & Predators

This page describes Cross River Gorilla Facts, Habitat, Diet, Scientific Name, Population, Predators, lifecycle & characteristics.

A subspecies of the western gorilla, the cross-river gorilla is known by its scientific name, Gorilla gorilla diehli. Though they are getting harder to find, Paul Matschie named the cross-river gorilla a new species in 1904. These gorillas have black or brownish-gray fur. The face, hands, and feet don’t have any fur at all, though. They have cone-shaped heads, and a scarlet crest sits atop them. These gorillas live in groups of two to twenty and are extremely gregarious animals. A dominating male serves as the group leader. There are 6-7 females, along with their offspring, in addition to the dominant leader.

The Cross River gorillas reach sexual maturity at age 10 and typically give birth every four years. Typically, their nine-month gestation period lasts. The hilly area between Nigeria and Cameroon is home to these gorillas. The herbivorous Cross River gorillas typically eat branches, nuts, leaves, and berries that they capture from various plants.

The Cross River gorillas are renowned for their exceptional newborn care skills and are observed to look after their young for three to four years. They refrain from getting pregnant again at this period and focus entirely on their newborn child.

Saving the Critically Endangered Cross River Gorillas

Cross River Gorilla Facts

Main Prey: Leaves, Fruit, Flowers

Habitat: Rainforest and dense jungle

Predators: Human, Leopard, Crocodile

Diet: Herbivore

The Cross River Gorilla lives in the mountainous region between Nigeria and Cameroons.

Cross River Gorilla Physical Characteristics

Color: GreyBlack

Skin: Type Hair

Top Speed: 25 mph

Lifespan: 35 – 50 years

Weight: 100kg – 200kg (220lbs – 440lbs)

Height: 1.4m – 1.7m (4.7ft – 5.5ft)

Incredible Cross River Gorilla Facts

  • The cross river gorilla is a subspecies of the Western gorilla.
  • There are only 200 to 300 cross-river gorillas left in the world.
  • Cross River gorillas are the most endangered great ape in Africa.
  • They are usually found at the borders between Nigeria and Cameroon.
  • They inhabit an area that is about 300 square miles.

Cross River Gorilla Scientific Name

The Cross-river gorillas are classified as Mammalia and are known by the scientific name “Gorilla gorilla diehli” in the Animalia kingdom. They are members of the order Primates and the phylum Chordata. They are also members of the genus Gorilla and the family Hominidae.

The Ancient Greek word “” is the origin of the term “gorilla.” According to Hanno the Navigator, the term alludes to a “tribe of hairy women,” which is how the inhabitants of Africa’s west coast were described (which is now known as Sierra Leone). The women were characterized as “hairy” and “savage.”

Cross River Gorilla Appearance and Behavior

The Cross River gorillas have light-colored hair and a small, slender frame. These gorillas stand out for their long arms and distinct ridgeline in contrast to their flat face and large nostrils. Their dark eyes are hidden by their typically black or brownish-gray fur. Like the hands and feet, the face typically has no fur.

They have cone-shaped heads with a crimson crest on top of their heads. The dominant male group leaders are known as silverbacks because they frequently have a silver patch on their backs.

The social Cross River gorillas live in family groups of two to twenty people. They behave pretty much like other gorillas. A male silverback typically serves as the group’s dominating leader.

The male leader typically oversees the group’s females and young, and he frequently decides on important matters like feeding and nesting locations.

The dominant male, six to seven females, and their offspring make up most groups. These gorillas construct nests out of branches and leaves, and then they lay their eggs in the woods. Typically, the nesting locations are on the ground.

However, during the rainy season, when they move their nests to the tops of trees, the resting locations alter. They eat for the majority of the day. Sources, however, imply that they also partake in leisure activities like grooming.

These gorillas are typically thought to be calm. However, if threatened, they have been known to become hostile toward people. If provoked, they will use branches, stones, and herbs to assault people.

Cross River Gorillas Photos

cross river gorilla population
cross river gorilla in Nigera
cross river gorilla habitat

Cross River Gorilla Habitat

The Cross River gorillas are a unique breed and are thought to be the oddest gorillas in the world. They are typically found along Nigeria’s and Cameroon’s mountainous borders. The Cross River basin is the name of their habitat.

Most North and West regions are known to be inhibited by these animals. They also exist in the Mbe Mountains of Cameroon and the Afi Mountains in Nigeria. In addition, they can be found in Nigeria’s Cross River National Park and Cameroon’s Takamanda National Park. The majority of these gorillas are located in bamboo and hilly rain forests between 1500 and 3500 meters above sea level.

Cross River Gorilla Diet

The principal ingredients in the diets of the Cross River gorillas include leaves, nuts, berries, and the woody vine liana. These herbivorous gorillas will travel as far as necessary to find the nutrients they require, even if it means foraging somewhere other than their usual territory.

This gorilla species will probably encounter unfavorable conditions with local plantain and banana farmers if it manages to descend to the lowlands. Despite the fact that this can appear overwhelming to the locals, some farmers in the area have noted that they are much less detrimental to their land than other creatures, such as wild pigs, that are smaller in stature.

The sole reason Cross River gorillas look for food elsewhere is because there isn’t enough of it close to where they live. However, the only occasion in recent memory that these lovely mammals have really harmed property was in 2006. This event is believed to have been the result of how close the farms were to the forest homes of the gorillas.

Cross River Gorilla Predators and Threats

The Cross River gorillas are an essential component of the ecosystem, just like all other living things on the world. They do, however, also suffer numerous risks from both humans and other animals. Large jungle cats and crocodiles are among the Cross River gorillas’ threats.

Humans pose a threat to the Cross River gorilla since they were once heavily hunted; this contributes to their low population levels. Threats to these gorillas also come from human activities like deforestation. The African great apes most in danger of extinction are the Cross River gorillas.

Gorillas living in the Cross River region are under grave danger. Some groups are attempting to preserve the woodlands in which they reside in order to stop them from emigrating to other areas and destroying food sources as the population declines. To conserve particular places, the governments of Nigeria and Cameroon are among the collaborators with the World Wildlife Organization.

Cross River Gorilla Reproduction, Babies, and Lifespan

Around the age of ten, the Cross River gorillas reach maturity. Due to the high amount of newborn care provided by these Cross River gorillas, they often give birth just once every four years or so. Until they are three or four years old, these gorillas typically care for their young. This is also extremely comparable to human gestation, which lasts roughly nine months on average.

The Cross River gorillas have multiple partners. All of the sexually mature females in the group typically mate with the dominant male. After giving birth, mother gorillas nurse their young and care for them until they are between three and four years old. These gorillas typically give birth to single infants; pairs are quite uncommon. These gorillas often live for 35 to 50 years.

Cross River Gorilla Population

There are only 200 to 300 Cross River gorillas left in the world, and they are extremely endangered owing to hunting and other human activities like deforestation. There are at least 11 families of these gorillas, the majority of which are distributed between Nigeria and Cameroon.

Since the Cross River gorilla population is still declining, efforts are being undertaken to make them reside in defined areas so they can thrive in protected environments. A serious threat to the species, in addition to their dispersed families, is the commerce in selling these animals as pets.

The trade of keeping Cross River gorillas as pets is risky and has an adverse effect on the ability to preserve the species. Due to their small size and ease of handling, some hunters may kill the father of the baby gorilla before taking them to sell. Currently, the risk of contracting Ebola and being persecuted is sufficient to make recovery impossible in the short term. As long as efforts are made to protect their habitat, there is still hope that this species may recover from these dangers within the next 75 years.

Cross River Gorilla in the Zoo

Due to their highly endangered condition and declining population worldwide, keeping Cross River gorillas in captivity helps them to thrive once more. There are several of reserves and sanctuaries that will house them so you can see them in a zoo, such the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary.

Since 2007, only one of these gorillas has been on show, at the Limbe Wildlife Center in Cameroon. There are no additional reports of zoos that now house these species, and the gorilla—named Nyango—died on October 10th, 2016, due to disease.

Many zoos and sanctuaries provide crucial information about the Cross River gorilla despite not housing these animals in order to persuade visitors to support conservation.

Cross River Gorilla Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What do Cross River gorillas eat?

Cross River gorillas are herbivores and feed on branches, leaves, nuts, and berries that come from several different plants.

Where does the Cross River gorilla live?

The habitat of the Cross River gorillas includes the mountainous forest between Nigeria and Cameroons. This space is called the Cross River basin.

Why is the Cross River gorilla endangered?

The main reason the Criss River gorillas are in danger now is that they have recently been the targets of intense and violent hunting. Additionally, they are under danger due to human activity like deforestation. The African great apes most in danger of extinction are the Cross River gorillas.

How many Cross River gorillas are left?

Due to aggressive hunting activities, there are only about 200-300 Cross River gorillas left in the world.

How long do Cross River gorillas live?

The Cross River gorillas usually live for 35 to 50 years.

Are Cross River gorillas carnivores, herbivores, or omnivores?

Cross River gorillas are herbivores and their diets usually comprise branches, leaves, nuts, and berries that they obtain from various plants.

Are Cross River gorillas aggressive?

The Cross River gorillas are usually peaceful animals. However, they can often turn aggressive towards humans and can also try to hit them with stones and branches.

What are the predators of the Cross River gorillas?

The Cross River gorillas are often eaten by crocodiles and large forest cats.

What Kingdom do Cross River Gorillas belong to?

Cross River Gorillas belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What class do Cross River Gorillas belong to?

Cross River Gorillas belong to the class Mammalia.

What phylum to Cross River Gorillas belong to?

Cross River Gorillas belong to the phylum Chordata.

What family do Cross River Gorillas belong to?

Cross River Gorillas belong to the family Hominidae.

How many babies do Cross River Gorillas have?

The average number of babies a Cross River Gorilla has is 1.