Gorillas and Other Primates at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Gorillas and Other Primates

From gorillas to gibbons, learn about primates throughout the park.


Visit our gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, lemurs and gibbons to learn more about these amazing animals and how you can help our conservation efforts. 


Visit Myombe Reserve® for an up-close look into the troop of the gorillas that call Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay home. Here, you’ll see the great ape’s natural behaviors like how gorillas construct “beds” of vegetation to sleep on at day’s end. Just like humans, gorillas have 32 teeth, individualized fingerprints and toe prints, opposing thumbs and even nails instead of claws!

Locate and Learn More


Unlike other great apes, orangutans are solitary by nature; this may be related to their need for large quantities of fruit, which are dispersed throughout the forest. Swing over to Jungala® to view the orangutans. Even though they are able to walk upright for short distances, orangutans travel mostly by brachiating (swinging from one branch to another by the arms) through trees.

Locate and Learn More


Chimpanzees are primates, the order of animals that includes other great apes (gorillas and orangutans), lemurs, bush babies, monkeys and humans. Chimps share several similar characteristics such as problem-solving abilities, parental care and various facial expressions. View these amazing animals at Myombe Reserve at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Locate and Learn More


Wild lemurs are typically found in tropical rainforests and dry thorn brushes throughout Madagascar, but you can watch them play at the Edge of Africa® at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. A lemur, also known as a prosimian, is an active, tree-dwelling primate whose fur is soft and ranges in color from reddish brown to gray and black!

Locate and Learn More


With over a dozen recognized species of gibbons, these acrobatic mammals make swinging through the rainforest seem graceful. Having hook-shaped hands for grasping branches, powerful legs for propelling and gasping, and being tailless, Gibbons can travel through the jungle at up to 35 miles an hour, bridging gaps as wide as 50 feet with a single swinging leap. Gibbons are considered the most threatened primates on Earth, in fact, many species of gibbon are considered endangered or critically endangered. 

Swing over to Jungala to learn more about gibbons.

See the Gibbon at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Ask an Educator about Gorillas, Orangutans and Lemurs

How did the gorillas get the name silverback?

Once male gorillas have fully grown out of their juvenile stage, they develop silver-gray saddles across their backs and upper thighs, eventually earning them the name silverback.

Where do gorillas live in the wild?

All gorillas come from Africa. The species that are in zoos are western lowland gorillas. Their populations in the wild are found in Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic, Congo, and Democratic Republic of Congo.

What is the lifespan of a gorilla?

Gorillas live an average lifespan of about 35 years in the wild, but in managed care like Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay they may live up to 50 years. 

Are orangutans endangered?

Yes, Bornean and Sumatran orangutans are endangered due to habitat loss and human encroachment. You can help conserve the wild regions that orangutans home by limiting or eliminating use of palm oil products.

How much of their day do orangutans spend resting?

Orangutans rest about 40 percent of the day and spend the other part of the day foraging, or searching for fruit, leaves, flowers, bark and insects.

How big are orangutans?

The long-haired primates are the world’s largest arboreal (tree-dwelling) mammals, weighing up to 200 pounds.

What purpose does a lemur’s thick, bushy tail serve?

When a lemur feels threatened, it uses its thick, bushy tail to serve as a visual signal. A lemur’s tail also serves as a balancing mechanism for when it leaps through the trees.

How does a female lemur carry her newborn baby?

Until the newborn is able to cling to the fur on her mother’s stomach or back, the female lemur carries her baby in her mouth.

Do lemurs have opposable thumbs?

Yes.  All animals that belong to the order of primates have opposable digits.  

What is the average life span of a lemur?

The average life span of a lemur is 18 years or older, but in managed care like at Busch Gardens, they can live up to 25 years or more.