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Savannah, Grasslands, Desert

Conservation Status


Gentle Gorilla Facts

From fingertip-to-fingertip, a gorilla’s “wingspan” can measure as much as 8 feet. That’s the distance from the floor to the ceiling of a typical room in a house!

Gorillas have unique feet that resemble human hands. They have opposable big toes that helps them grab on to trees and food.

Gorillas spend 16 hours a day eating vegetation and will never spend the night at the same place to ensure they do not run out of food to eat.

Challenges in the Wild

Coltan mining: The mineral, coltan is used to manufacture small electronics such as cell phones and tablets. Mining for this mineral in the Congo rainforest is accelerating deforestation and threatening gorilla habitat.

Deforestation: The rain forests gorillas call home is being destroyed at an alarming rate – trees are cut down for timber and paper products.

Dallas Zoo Saving Gorillas

The Dallas Zoo supports these amazing conservation organizations:

GRACE: The Dallas Zoo supports GRACE, “The Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center,” which rehabilitates young gorillas that were orphaned when their mothers were killed for bushmeat. These infants receive the around-the-clock care they need in order to have a chance at healthy social, emotional, behavioral, and physical development. They are released back into the wild once they are old enough, and it is safe to do so. The Dallas Zoo donates funds that support GRACE’s operations, and Zoo staff have assisted with building a new enclosure, and providing health and welfare training to GRACE staff.
Dian Fossey Fund International: Through Dian Fossey Fund International, the Dallas Zoo works to protect roughly half of Rwanda’s mountain gorilla population. We contribute to the salaries of many field staff and fund daily monitoring, anti-poaching patrols, and gorilla health assessments. We also contribute to educational programs for area schools and help increase capacity and infrastructure at community health clinics, which benefits the entire community. Additionally, several of the Dallas Zoo’s senior staff have served as Board Members for the Dian Fossey Fund, providing guidance on several issues.
Gorillas on the Line: The Dallas Zoo also helps gorillas by leading the Gorillas on the Line (GOTL) campaign. We collect old cell phones and other small electronics on site at the Zoo, which are then recycled responsibly, reducing the demand for coltan mining.

You Can Help Save Gorillas in the Wild

Buy a Dallas Zoo membership to help save gorillas in the wild.

Extend the life of your mobile phones and recycle them. Bring them to the Membership Booth or the Gorilla Research Station!

Reuse paper and buy sustainable forest products. Look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo.