Gorilla Reproduction

Like any other living creatures, Gorillas also reproduce but at a low rate. Female gorillas give birth to 1 offspring per delivery, and rarely produce twins.

The estrous cycle or reproductive cycle, the recurring reproductive cycle is 28/30-33 days, depending on the Gorilla subspecies.

After their first ovulatory cycle, they have to wait for a two-year period to breed an infant. Female Gorillas became sexually mature at the age of 10-12 years old, but male one at 11- 13 years of age. That means females reach maturity earlier than male Gorillas just like human beings.

Eve at 7 -8 years, female Gorillas can reach sexual maturity but they start breeding at the age of 10 years and above. One of the most surprising facts is that after their first ovulatory cycle, they are unable to procreate an infant for about two years.

Male Gorillas are polygamous and they can mate any Gorilla on heat. They can detect a female Gorilla on heat by the swelling in the genital region.

Female Gorillas go on heat for one or two days in a month, but before they start having sex partners they often leave their born troop and start searching for a “silverback” male from another family.

It is a rule that, only mature male “silverback” have a right to mate female Gorillas in the group. In groups with several males, females may be forced to copulate with more than one, but usually, only the “silverback” leader has the right to mate with a female.

It should be noted that only humans, Bonobos and Gorillas mate face to face.  Gorillas spend 8.5 months in gestation. Alongside low production among gorillas, 38-40% of the infants die at some point during their first three years of life, that is why Gorilla are still few in number.

In most cases, Gorillas are born with 2 kg of weight and taken care of by the female. The mother Gorilla carries her young, which firmly holds the mother’s hair up to they are 3-6 months old when the infant begins to walk.

Infants weaning start when they are 3xyear old. As typically happens in primates, the mother-infant bond is unyielding and can last for many years. It is rare to find a male Gorilla taking care if the young one but can some time socialize with.

At three years old, young Gorillas start the juvenile stage between infant and adulthood. At about ten years old or when they reach sexual maturity, gorillas enter the adulthood.