Q:

Why are gorillas becoming extinct?

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Quick Answer

All species of gorillas are becoming endangered and potentially extinct due to habitat loss, disease and poaching. A gorilla's only natural predator in the wild is the leopard.

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Full Answer

All gorilla species have now been placed on the endangered list by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Fewer than 700 mountain gorillas remain in the wild, and 100,000 western lowland gorillas also remain, but their numbers are declining rapidly.

The gorilla is the largest primate in existence. It can stand as tall as an average-sized person and weigh upwards of 450 pounds. Humans hunt and kill these animals to capture the babies for illegal international pet trade. In recent years, the gorilla population has also taken a hit from human diseases such as the Ebola virus.

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