Females usually mature at the age of 10 to 12 years and usually earlier when kept in captivity, whereas the males mature at age of 11–13 years. Female gorillas usually start mating when 8 years of age while male gorillas start mating at 12 year of age. After mating, gestation period takes around 8 and a half month. The baby gorilla is quiet small, black hairs covers its body. Generally a baby gorilla weighs 2.5 kilogram or more.
The mother gorilla always carries the baby, in her hands, for first few months. The mother gorilla feeds the baby gorilla with her breast milk. After 3 months or more, baby gorilla learns to ride her mother’s back, by holding onto the hair on her back. After a few months the baby gorilla learns to crawl. When it has crossed 5 months, the baby gorilla can walk. When the baby gorilla reaches the age of two, it can easily chew branches of trees. Researchers have proven that a baby gorilla develops twice as much as human beings.
The young gorilla usually stays with his/her mother, till it is 3 and a half to 4 years old. The mother gorilla always remains cautious and careful, until her baby reaches a particular age. There are usually 3 or 4 years of gap between births as the young gorillas stay with its mothers at least for 3 or 4 years. Lifespan of a gorilla is generally 30–50 years, though there are exceptions. For example: A female gorilla named Jenny lived up to the age of 55 at the Dallas Zoo.
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