Born Free USA Global Field Projects
The Limbe Wildlife Center is home to two groups of gorillas rescued from the trade in exotic “pets” and wildlife parts. Many of the gorillas are Western lowland gorillas, a relatively common species in the region, but one is a Cross River gorilla. Nyango, the Cross River gorilla, is a member of an extremely endangered species and is the only confirmed Cross River gorilla in the entire world who does not live in the wild.
The larger group is led by Chella, and includes two other males and eight females, including Nyango. A smaller group led by Arno contains just five gorillas, of which Arno is the only male.
Each group had a spacious enclosure that includes lush outdoor landscapes and indoor areas that provide protection from the elements, and privacy. Gorillas sometimes need time alone, too!
The gorillas eat six times a day at the sanctuary. Their diet includes a mixture of fruits, greens and proteins that varies with changing seasons. They usually eat twice as many greens as vegetables and just a small amount of protein. Some of the greens they commonly eat are Aframomun (a plant that naturally grows in secondary bush and is a favorite of wild gorillas), papaya leaves, sweet potato leaves, elephant stock, huckleberry, Okon-Obon (pumpkin leaves), bitter leaf, green (a type of African spinach), water leaves, cabbage, Marantacees and green beans.
The gorillas often eat bananas, mango, bush mango, pineapple, papaya, ficus, bush apple, African pear, garden eggs and watermelon. For protein, their caretakers may include eggs, beans, yogurt, milk, peanuts, koki ( an African bean flour mixed with other ingredients and cooked in a Marantacee leave)or balls of corn, soy and honey. Because gorillas are generally herbivores in the wild (they do like to munch occasionally on termites and other insects) they are fed vegetarian diets at the sanctuary.