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Do Gorillas Burp When They Are Happy? The Truth Revealed!

Do Gorillas Burp When They Are Happy? The Truth Revealed!

Do Gorillas Burp When They Are Happy? Gorillas are close primates to human beings. While gorillas were once considered the closest primate to human beings.

Sharing the human types of interactions with families and the intelligence of the gorilla, chimpanzees are the closest primate to humans. 

Gorillas run a close second though and exhibit characteristics that prove they are evolutionary ancestors of human beings.

Differences in the DNA of gorillas versus humans are minor according to scientists. 

The same DNA factors exist in the range of 99 percent of humans, making gorillas a very large and dangerous animal.

If threatened or aggrieved because of their intelligence and size. Gorillas possess longer arms and sharper teeth than humans. 

They also generally don’t walk in an upright manner although they can. But their size can make them very dangerous and they do value family and mate as pairs.

Anything or anyone that threatens their family group can find themselves in grave danger. Usually shy, gorillas only attack if their territory or family group is threatened. 


Do Gorillas Burp When Happy? 

The answer is a definite yes. Gorillas burp when they have eaten a full meal and are satisfied, or when something else makes them happy, such as relaxing or just being content for any reason. But, it can be a form of cheering amongst gorilla groups, which are called “troops.”

Do Gorillas Burp When Happy 

Do Gorillas Burp When Happy?


4 Ways That Prove Gorillas Burp When Happy


1. Scientific research on burping

This burping happiness behavior was noticed by researchers first.

Huge groups of researchers such as those involved with SeaWorld and environmentalists studied gorilla behavior to arrive at this “happiness burp”,

conclusion for years before finally releasing this information as a genuine conclusion. 

The researchers were seeking to find ways to preserve certain types of endangered species of gorillas but noticed this “universal burping” amongst the gorilla families and troops.

It was too obvious for this not to become part of the research. 

Burping Happiness Behavior Was Noticed By Researchers First

Burping Happiness Behavior Was Noticed By Researchers First


2. Gorilla sanctuary workers noticed this

Mountain gorillas and the silverbacked gorillas are becoming an endangered species and victims of poachers who capture them for zoos and other reasons worldwide. 

Sanctuaries were started and the workers soon noticed this “humming-type” burp that emanated from entire groups of gorillas during specific types of activities such as eating, play, and relaxing. 

Mountain gorillas which are critically endangered now exist mostly in sanctuaries and the workers could not help but notice the burping and make notes on it over the years. 

Mountain Gorillas

Mountain Gorillas


3. Individuals that went on safari noted burping

Although startled at first, and of course, unexpected, it soon became apparent to safari visitors that the gorillas looked happy while doing the burping.

Gorillas do have facial expressions like humans, from a calm, happy and relaxed look, to one of anger and aggravation. 

Gorillas also use body language to convey meanings and relaxed body language went along with the burping.

Baby gorillas can be playing while the entire troop of gorillas engages in burping. The baby gorillas also burp early on in age. 

Gorillas Looked Happy

Gorillas Looked, Happy


4. Research on body language of gorillas

This research was more encompassing than other research as all body language was studied by researchers at the Smithsonian National Zoo.

The Smithsonian continues to examine all animal behaviors and noticed happiness burping especially when gorillas were fed their favorite foods. 

Gorillas are herbivores and do not eat meat. They are not picky about vegetation but do enjoy their treats and finding treats to eat sets off “group troop burping.” 

Gorillas in time of need will occasionally eat grubs or insects but for the most part, eat foliage and vegetation. 

The Smithsonian National Zoo does give treats in moderation of bananas and fruits

.And this does bring about the burping even though the gorillas are not overeating these so are not belching in the human sense of the word. 

Happiness Burping Especially When Gorillas Were Fed Their Favorite Foods

Happiness Burping Especially When Gorillas Were Fed Their Favorite Foods


Frequently Asked Questions About Do Gorillas Burp When Happy 


If I am on tour and notice a gorilla group burping can I approach them? 

Gorillas are not per se dangerous if left alone. A gorilla can be dangerous if interrupted or surprised as they feel threatened easily. While they do not seek to kill any interlopers their bites can inflict very damaging wounds, not to mention a good slap or punch from one. 


Can I approach a gorilla who is smiling when I am smiling? 

Although gorillas can use facial expressions like humans, their expressions have different meanings. Humans smiling means enjoyment while gorillas smile when annoyed.  Humans that smile at a gorilla can signify to the gorilla that the human is being nasty rather than nice and can lead to an attack.


Should I ever feed a gorilla in the wild and hope it burps? 

As stated before keep your distance from all gorillas. Chances are the gorilla will eat the food you present but instead of burping in happiness will just come back for more. When you do not feed the gorilla again they will most likely become angry and you will find yourself in danger.


I am always confused about how to spell gorilla. Isn’t it guerilla? 

No. Gorilla is an ape that is a primate similar to a human being. The term Guerilla refers to a fighting squadron usually meant for wartime measures and is specific to the military across the world. Many individuals mix up the two spellings. 


Conclusion on Do Gorillas Burp When They Are Happy? 

Gorillas that are burping should never be approached at any cost. Gorillas are huge animals and are always wild animals.

Gorillas burp but it is not the human type of burp which is a belch that releases air in the stomach after eating a great deal of drinking a carbonated beverage. 

Gorilla burps are more of a happy humming sound and are produced after a good meal, a period of relaxation, or even a period of play among gorilla groups which are called “troops.” 

Approaching gorillas at any time is never a good idea as they are and always will be wild animals. They resemble humans, and share much of our DNA but are not domesticated.

Always be safe rather than sorry!