Food and Diet

Armed with color binocular vision, large canine teeth, strength, power, dexterity and agility, gorillas have all the attributes and appearance of a potentially lethal and successful hunter.

However, they are predominantly herbivores. They spend the daytime foraging for food in the forests. They eat leaves, fruit, seeds, tree bark, plant bulbs, tender plant shoots, and flowers. They have been known to eat various parts of over 200 different plant species. Bamboo shoots are a particular favorite.

Gorillas are not even opportunist, or scavenging, meat-eaters but they do supplement their diet with termites and ants. This sometimes involves the creative deployment of tools (e.g. sticks). Their need for water can be entirely met through their normal food intake. An average adult male eats approximately 50 pounds of water rich vegetable matter per day.

Also the diet of the mountain gorillas largely consists of foliage. There are over 142 different plants, whose leaves, shoots and the stems are also eaten, constituting of gorilla food. This helps in the growth of these gorillas and this has increased their numbers which has contributed to more gorilla trekking safaris to Uganda.

However, for the shoots, the gorillas also enjoy mainly the rainy season mountain bamboos when still green and tender. This is because the bamboo shoots are 84% water the supplement of trocatea, the young bamboo leaves, tsile’s leaves, stems, the flowers and the roots. Also celery’s stem without the tree bark, urela cameronesis leaves and the stem bark and the dry season black berries grown on high attitude provides a nutritious delicacy for the mountain gorillas.

The eating habits of the mountain gorillas also depend on the prevailing situation in a particular group. Normally gorillas have three intervals of rest between each feeding, which also amounts to 40% of an area which are plenty of food, they will also feed and then rest for longer periods compared to times and the movement into a sector of limited food availability. They also become dormant in case it’s raining heavily. These mountain gorillas also spend a lot of their time traveling and foraging in search of food, because the plants and the tress change with the seasons. The full grown mountain gorillas can also eat up to 60 pounds of the vegetation a day.