Do Gorillas Eat Coconuts? (Quick Answer)

Do gorillas eat coconuts? Gorillas do eat coconuts because they are herbivores, are much stronger than monkeys, and have extremely powerful forelimbs that can easily break them open but you will find that they only eat the coconuts that fall on the ground since it’s difficult to reach the ones that are high up in the tree.

Recently I came across a gorilla eating a coconut. What intrigued me is that coconuts have a tough outer shell and an equally tough husk.

Gorilla is the largest living primate known for their brute force. What intrigued me was the fact that the gorilla seemed to break open the coconut quite easily and enjoy eating the flesh inside.

Seeing the video, I decided to research more about gorillas’ feeding habits. Let’s dive in on what I learned.

gorilla sitting in forest 08102022

Do gorillas living in the wild eat coconuts?

Gorillas are primates known to survive mostly on fruits, stems, and bamboo shoots. Gorillas can climb trees, but you will find that they are mostly ground communities.

They will only climb trees when it’s necessary. However, they cannot climb tall coconut trees.

You will find that they eat only those coconuts that fall on the ground. Therefore, coconuts do not feature among the usual food consumed by gorillas.

Can gorillas eat young coconuts?

If you are thinking about green coconuts and whether gorillas like to eat these or not, then the first thing you will notice about these fruits is that there is hardly any flesh in the young coconuts.

This is because the young coconuts are consumed for the water inside, and a gorilla can’t extract the water without breaking open the whole coconut.

This will prove to be counterproductive if you want to access the water. Hence, gorillas will generally avoid eating young coconuts.

Moreover, in the wild, young coconuts are usually found in the upper reaches of a coconut palm, and gorillas cannot climb these coconut palms.

Thus, there is no record of gorillas eating young coconuts.

Are coconuts healthy for gorillas?

Gorillas are known to eat different types of fruits, and coconuts sometimes feature among these.

Coconuts are rich in nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

The primate needs these to build a robust immune system and healthy bones.

However, if the gorillas live in captivity, you must be careful about the number of coconuts it is given in a day.

This is because coconuts are high in calories, and as the movement of gorillas bred in captivity is restricted, you need to monitor their calorie consumption.

Thus, coconuts are healthy for gorillas but only when consumed in a limited amount.

How do gorillas eat coconuts?

Gorillas can easily break open a coconut with sheer force. These primates can remove the husk of a ripe coconut with the extreme force of their arms, and teeth.

Once they can remove the husk, they can extract the fruit within. After that, they can break open the coconut with their forelimbs.

When the coconut is broken, extracting the flesh is easy for the gorilla. They eat the flesh inside and discard the shell.

Are gorillas that are bred in captivity given coconuts?

If you visit a zoo and check out the gorilla area, you will often find different types of fruits inside the cage.

Gorillas bred in captivity are given a variety of fruits to help them build a robust immune system. They are sometimes given coconuts and fruits like apples and bananas.

The only thing you will find with the captive gorillas is that they are given only pieces of the flesh of a coconut.

Zookeepers avoid giving gorillas whole coconuts.

Breaking open a coconut and extracting the flesh of the coconut is a skill that a gorilla living in captivity might not have.

Can gorillas drink coconut water?

In the wild, gorillas will find it challenging to drink coconut water from green coconuts, but you can give those bred in captivity coconut water to drink.

As gorillas need to be kept hydrated and healthy, especially when they live in open pens, zookeepers often give the primates coconut water along with the normal water.

This helps replenish the minerals in their body.

Can all species of gorillas eat coconut?

There are primarily two species of gorillas. Both gorillas live on the ground and avoid climbing trees.

However, both species, eastern and western gorillas, are equally powerful. They can easily break open a coconut to access the flesh inside.

Moreover, coconuts are equally healthy for both species of gorillas. Hence, both species of gorillas can consume them.

Curious about what animals eat coconuts? Check out that article for more information.

Further reading:

World Wildlife – What Do Gorillas Eat & Other Gorilla Facts?

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