The gorilla is the largest of the primates and is also one of the most intelligent animals. Studies show that gorilla DNA is 98 % identical to human DNA. The mountain gorilla lives in the mountainous regions of central Africa, while the lowland gorilla lives in the flat and dense forests of central and western Africa.
Although the two types are very similar, they have a few differences. For example, mountain gorillas tend to have longer hair, while lowland gorillas have short, soft hair. Gorillas are among the most famous monkeys. Another difference is the size. Lowland gorillas are 4 to 1.8 meters tall and weigh up to 180 kilograms. Mountain gorillas are about the same height, although they tend to weigh a little more, up to 220 kg.
How much does a gorilla cost?
You can’t own a gorilla, in the USA, to keep as a pet at home, as it is illegal. Exceptions to the rule are zoos, circuses, animal research organizations, and wildlife sanctuaries. They can sell and buy gorillas. According to NBC NEWS, the price for a baby gorilla can go from $15,000 up to $40,000 and more.
There are cases when gorillas are sold as pets, and this is the main reason the black market for gorillas is growing. On the black market, a baby gorilla can cost up to $50,000, and is usually bought for personal zoos of exotic animals.
How much does it cost to virtually adopt a gorilla?
Gorillas are endangered species and if you are really interested in their safety and protection, and want to help them, there are some sanctuaries and parks where you can adopt one.
For example, at the Virunga National Park you can adopt mountain gorillas, that are listed as critically endangered. By donating a minimum of $10 a month, you help the Park ensure them a continuous adapting conservation strategy, and the rangers to keep them safe. In exchange, you will receive monthly information about the gorillas’ families.
How much does gorilla care cost?
Besides the expensive initial cost related to buying a gorilla, you must consider the additional expenses too, like housing, food, and medical care. Gorillas are animals with high-maintenance needs, and this is one of the reasons they are only owned by federally licensed exhibitors.
To have a healthy gorilla you must feed it a varied diet, plant-based which includes fruits and leaves. In captivity, they eat apples, broccoli, peppers, celery, sweet potatoes, nuts, grains, etc. Depending on what you feed the gorilla, the cost of food per week can vary from $50 to $100.
Gorillas shouldn’t be kept in cages. They need large enclosures, with many rooms and landscaping, that will keep them safe and calm. Depending on its complexity, an enclosure for gorillas can cost from $200 to $5,000 and more.
When you decide to buy a gorilla, first be sure you can offer it proper medical care from a specialized veterinarian in exotic animals. You will need to have it regularly checked by a certified vet, and the cost may vary depending on your location and the gorilla’s needs. Usually, the vet will charge from $500 to $1,500 per visit.
Other expenses may include bedding, grooming supplies, and even toys. All the may cost another $50 to $500.
Is it illegal to keep a pet gorilla?
It is illegal to import apes into the United States as pets since 1975, due to the Federal quarantine Regulation. Be careful not to buy them abroad for cheaper in the hope that you will be able to bring them here in the USA. Owning a gorilla as a pet is illegal in many of the USA states. The laws of owning a gorilla are divided into the next categories:
- Entities possessing apes for science or research
- Public exhibitors of great apes like circuses
- Individuals possessing apes as pets
Why you shouldn’t buy a gorilla
A monkey lives 30 to 50 years, so you make a long-term commitment. Many specialists associate the maintenance of primates, like a gorilla, with the care of a disabled child. Your entire daily schedule will have to be built around the animal. In this sense, the similarities with a small child are huge.
Forget about holidays and free time! It is very difficult to find someone willing to take care of your gorilla while you are away from home for several days. It’s not like dogs or cats that anyone can handle for a short period of time if they receive a minimum of care advice.
Many people are afraid of them, and gorillas do not easily accept anyone around them. If some hostels and hotels accept dogs and cats, they will certainly find it harder to accept such an animal. Even so, the risks of the gorilla being out of control causing damage are very high.
If you thought you could feed the gorilla with your food, you were wrong. They are predominantly herbivorous, consuming vegetation, blackberries, leaves, fruits, seeds, tree bark, and plant bulbs, sometimes supplementing the diet with ants and termites.
This means very high costs, especially if some foods are hard to find and are brought from long distances. They do not need to drink water because they are sufficiently hydrated from the chosen diet. An adult male can consume up to 27 kg of food daily. And let’s not forget, the purchase price of such an animal is quite high.
The black market offers a large percentage of the gorillas sold as pets. They are kidnapped from the natural environment since they are small, with adverse repercussions on their species. The baby gorillas have been taken away from their mother since they have had a few days of life.
They are given a stuffed toy as a surrogate, to hug instead of their mother. The diet offered fails to provide them with all the nutrients like breast milk. As a result, the baby gorilla will accumulate large physical and mental deficiencies.
Gorillas are very intelligent social animals. Most of them live in well-organized groups. For them, interacting with their peers is essential for psychic balance. A gorilla develops intellectually optimally only in a group of members of the same species. Studies show that 99% of domesticated monkeys suffer from mental disorders to some degree. These have negative consequences on the quality of life of both the animal and its owner.
Although they are babies, gorillas are very cute and harmless, after reaching sexual maturity they can turn into beasts. No matter how tamed they may seem, the wild side remains hidden somewhere and comes out when you don’t even expect it. The strength and aggressiveness of such an animal is colossal. The owner or a stranger can get serious injuries caused by strong bites or sharp nails.
We, humans, are not genetically different from gorillas, so a lot of their specific diseases can be contracted by us. If the animal comes from the wild, the risk of coming into contact with an exotic disease is very high. The reverse is true, and even the gorillas can get sick from us.
To own such an animal you need certain permits, depending on which category of possession you apply for. In general, large primates like gorillas are strictly prohibited as pets.
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