How Much Does A Gorilla Cost?

Last Updated on December 16, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

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 it 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 gorilla parks where you can adopt one, or go and see them on a gorilla safari.

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 Gorilla National Park ensure 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.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a monkey, a finger monkey, or a capuchin monkey.

Food costs

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.

Housing costs

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.

Veterinary costs

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

Other expenses may include bedding, grooming supplies, and even toys. All may cost another $50 to $500.

Is it illegal to keep a pet gorilla?

It has been 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 following categories:

  • Zoos
  • Sanctuaries
  • Entities possessing apes for science or research
  • Public exhibitors of great apes like circuses
  • Individuals possessing apes as pets

Rwanda and Uganda gorilla trekking tour costs

Gorilla treks in Uganda and Rwanda offer a unique and unforgettable wildlife experience, allowing visitors to get up close to one of the world’s most endangered and magnificent creatures, the mountain gorilla. Both countries are home to habituated gorilla families, and gorilla tours are carefully managed to ensure the safety and well-being of both tourists and gorillas.

The gorilla trekking in Rwanda takes place in Volcanoes National Park, located in the northern part of the country. The park is known for its lush forests and scenic volcanic landscapes.

In Uganda, you can go gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Bwindi is renowned for its dense, jungle-like vegetation, while Mgahinga offers a unique backdrop with its volcanoes.

A typical 2-night, 3-day mountain gorilla trekking in 2023 involves various costs. The cost of a gorilla trekking permit, mandated by the Rwanda and Uganda Wildlife Authority, amounts to $600 – $700 per trekker. The gorilla permit fees vary between the two countries. Accommodations for the tour typically include staying in a basic eco-lodge room near the park, with a cost of approximately $200 per night.

During the tour, meals are provided at the lodge, with an estimated daily expense of $25 per person covering simple breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To enhance your experience, a personal, knowledgeable guide, familiar with gorillas, will be assigned exclusively to your group for all trek days, and this service comes at a total cost of $300.

Transportation logistics are an essential part of the tour. You’ll need a driver for airport transfers and transport to the park for the trekking experience, which amounts to $100 in total. Additionally, park fees of $150 per person grant access to the forest for a 2-day pass, allowing you to participate in multiple trek days.

Porter services are available to assist with carrying bags and providing support during the trek. This service costs $15 per trekker per day. For convenient and reliable roundtrip transfers from the lodge to the trek start point, a 4×4 vehicle will be provided, at a cost of $150.

In summary, the price of a gorilla trekking trip is approximately $2,300 per person when considering the $700 gorilla permit cost, lodging expenses of around $800, $400 for the guide and driver, $150 for park fees, $90 for porters, and $150 for transport. It’s important to note that prices may vary slightly depending on the tour operator you choose.

Why you shouldn’t buy a gorilla


Baby GorillaA 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. Each gorilla family typically has a dominant male known as the “silverback.” The silverback gorilla is typically the oldest and largest male in the group and is responsible for leading and protecting the family.

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 tame 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.

Final words

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.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *