many years gorillas were classified as a single species within the genus
Gorilla. However, recent genetic evidence suggests that this classification
should be modified to distinguish two separate species: the western and eastern
gorillas, each represented by several subspecies.
Western gorillas live in the western portion of central Africa (Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Mbini). Eastern gorillas live in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, formerly Zaire), Rwanda, and Uganda. Although nearly all gorillas found in zoos are western gorillas rather than eastern gorillas, a subspecies of the eastern gorilla commonly known as the mountain gorilla is most familiar due to extensive research and popular documentary and motion-picture portrayals of its life in the wild.
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