Everyday LifeDo Gorillas have enemies?

Do Gorillas have enemies?

  • The silverback Safari (© Michele Goldsmith)

Apart from humans, gorillas don't really have enemies. The only predator to prey on gorillas is the leopard. Walter Baumgärtel found the remains of several gorillas after they had been killed by leopards in the Virunga Volcanoes. Another case has been confirmed in Gabon, where a sick young gorilla was killed by a leopard.

When a group of gorillas feels threatened, the group members behave in a special way. Silverback males give off a particularly intensive smell and emit characteristic sounds. The other animals gather together and hug each other or gather around the male. It is one of the tasks of adult males to defend their group against attacks and to position themselves between the attacker and the group. Frequently, younger males take on this duty. They drive the group away from the source of danger and attack the enemy at the same time.