Do you desire a primate? I’ll give you a thriller!
The Western Gorilla gorilla gorilla!
An ape so bold they named it threefold!
Intelligent, friendly, and a heart built of gold.
The primate enjoys families of a dozen
With behavior close to it’s more upright cousin.
Found in Congo, Guinea, and even Gabon
Angola, Cameroon, and in zoos the world on.
The smallest gorilla is known as omnivorous
And rarely eats what would make it carnivorous
They enjoy Tetrapleura, Londolphia and Dialum
(Though it’s breath’s bad enough, it also loves alliums) –
The Gorilla gorilla gorilla is known
To enjoy Cola leaves wherever they’re sown.
Beautiful creatures some with backs full of silver
Cutting through mist with imposing figure.
Paragons of great strength, but with a gentle caveat –
Compassion at length when given housecats.
They can speak in sign language, and hold conversation –
If taught at young age and given healthy persuasion.
They are a wonderful member to describe as a cousin
And we need to protect them – they’ll die if we doesn’t.
The Western Lowland Gorilla is known scientifically as Gorilla gorilla gorilla, so good job on that one taxonomists. The Eastern Lowland and Cross River gorillas are also highly endangered. Cross River and Western are both Western subspecies; the Eastern is a subspecies of… the Eastern. The Eastern is the worse off of all, but the Western’s scientific name was too fun to ignore!
Gorillas do not kidnap movie stars, climb skyscrapers, or throw barrels at plumbers despite popular culture. They are dangerous in the wild animal way but typically ignore people. In captivity and with humans they can be friendly and educated to speak. The gorilla referenced above is the famous Koko – fans of Reading Rainbow will especially remember her kitten.
Gorillas face standard loss of habitat but also hunting for food. While Western gorillas number over 100k, there are less than 5000 of their Eastern cousins.