Orangutan vs Gorilla: Who Would Win in a Fight?

Orangutans are known to be the first intelligent beings, and so are the gorillas. They belong to the same family, but who would win in a fight: Orangutan or Gorilla?

Uncovering who is the greatest among the two great apes can be challenging, but here in this article, we’ve simplified things. Keep reading to understand more about what entails these primates.

Read: Gorilla vs Kangaroo: Who Would Win in a Fight?


What is Orangutan?


Orangutan is a large and intelligent primate that is native to the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra in Southeast Asia. They are one of the closest living relatives of humans, sharing around 97% of their DNA with us.

Orangutans are known for their distinctive red fur and long arms, which help them to move through the trees. They are solitary animals, except during breeding season and when mothers are raising their young.

Orangutans are primarily herbivores, eating a diet that includes fruits, leaves, and other vegetation. They are highly intelligent and have been observed using tools like sticks to extract insects from tree bark.

Orangutans are also threatened by habitat loss and hunting and are considered endangered due to these factors. Conservation efforts are underway to protect their remaining habitats and populations.

What is Gorilla?


Gorilla is a large and powerful primate that is native to the forests of central and eastern Africa. They are the largest living primates and are known for their muscular build and distinctive black fur. Gorillas are social animals and live in groups called troops, which are led by a dominant male called a silverback.

They are herbivores, eating a diet that includes leaves, stems, and fruits. Gorillas are highly intelligent and have been observed using tools and showing empathy towards other troop members.

They are also known for their impressive physical strength, with males being significantly larger and stronger than females. Despite being protected by law in many countries, gorillas are considered endangered due to habitat loss, poaching, and disease.

Orangutan vs Gorilla Fact Sheet

LengthMale orangutan: 4 ft (137cm)Female orangutan: 3 ft (115 cm)1.25 – 1.8 meters
Height1.25 – 1.50 meters1 – 1.95 meters
Weight37 kg – 75 kg100 kg – 270 kg
Speed2.7 mph20 mph
Strength500 pounds1,800 pounds
HabitatSouth Asian rainforestsTropical rainforests of Central Africa
FoodMeat, insects, and fruitsExclusively vegetarians
Lifespan35 – 45 years35 – 40 years
Hunting TechniqueNo hunting techniqueNo hunting technique
Bite power575 PSI1,300 PSI
PredatorsLeopards, tigers, crocodiles, humans, black eagles, pythons, and bearded pigsLions, crocodiles, hyenas, eagles, and humans
SoundHeavy roars, long calls, soft barking, kiss squeak, raspberry Roaring, screaming, hooting


Orangutans are great apes belonging to the family Hominidae. They are native to the rainforests of Malaysia and Indonesia. They are the only surviving subfamily of Ponginae. They have reddish-brown hair covering their body and are known to be the most solitary apes. 

Gorillas, on the other hand, are also great apes belonging to the Hominidae family. You’ll find them in the thick rainforest of Central Africa. They are the largest remaining primates and have dark grey hair covering their skin.


Male orangutans grow longer than the female. Adult male orangutan grows to length between 4 ft. (137 cm), while female grow three ft. (115 cm). Their arms grow longer than their legs; they are about one and a half times longer, approximately 7 ft. 

Gorillas are the largest primates and grow to approximately 1.25 and 1.8 meters long. The silverback gorilla is the largest, with their arms growing longer than their legs. Gorillas are friendly to examine unless you provoke them. 


Orangutans have a standing height of between 1.25 and 1.50 meters, with the adult male growing taller than the females. It’s rare to find an Orangutan walking on the ground because they love spending most of their time in the trees. Therefore, it can be quite challenging to examine their height.

The tallest gorilla ever recorded is from the silverback species, reaching 1.95 m (5 in 6 ft). However, the average height for most wild gorillas is between 4 and 6 feet, depending on the species. The smallest species is the western lowland gorilla, but it still grows to an exceptional size.


An animal’s weight depends on the nutrition level it consumes and its age. Adult animals should weigh heavier than the young ones. 

That said, adult male orangutan weighs heavier than females, approximately 75 kg, while females can reach 37 kg. For this reason, they can carry their weight across the tree tops.

Gorillas are the heaviest among all apes. Adult male silverbacks weigh heavier, reaching around 270 kg. However, depending on the species, the average weight ranges between 100 and 270 kg.  Gorillas are social animals living in groups, with the biggest silverback leading them.


Although orangutans can easily swing through the tree branches, they are not quick when running. The average speed an orangutan can run is approximately 2.7 mph. Such a speed can take about 10 hours to run a marathon. Naturally, orangutans scurry to any animal and would run to the nearest tree where possible. 

Gorillas are not quick runners over long miles, but they can reach a speed of approximately 40 km/h on short distances. However, the average speed most of the gorillas can run is approximately 20 mph (32 km/h). Gorillas can only run faster on four limbs but not fast on two limbs.


Although they weigh less than most humans, orangutans are about five times stronger than us. A fully grown orangutan can lift 500 pounds weight. Meaning, they are about three times stronger than their body weight. Only a foolish person would want to challenge an orangutan. 

Conversely, Gorillas are the strongest, approximately ten times their weight and twenty times stronger than humans. A gorilla can lift approximately 1,800 pounds. 

Have you ever seen a gorilla’s chest? That explains everything. The wide and masculine chest is a dream for many weightlifters, but the gorilla is naturally born that way. What do you think will happen if it challenges a smaller animal?

Hunting Technique 

Orangutans are not active hunters or chasers of animals. They are not that quick and will end up exhausting themselves for chasing prey. 

However, they are known for picking insects from the bark of trees or sometimes catching small animals at arm’s length. Most of the meat they eat could be of a dead, injured, or weak animal. 

Gorillas are entirely vegetarians, which means they are not meat consumers unless it happens by mistake. Therefore, there is no reported hunting technique for gorillas. 


Orangutans only inhabit the rainforests of South Asia in Malaysia and Indonesia in the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. They spend most of their time in trees, building nests to sleep or picking fruits to eat. The dense forest of these regions allows them to spend their entire lives up the trees. They also love forests near waterways as they have dense fruits.

Gorillas inhabit the lowland tropical rainforests in Central Africa. However, some species inhabit the mountain forests and bamboo forests. These places have dense green vegetation that is best for their nutrition. 

With African weather conditions, the tropical rainforests offer a variety of food for the gorillas, which could explain why they are only in Africa. It could be because the weather is less extreme than in winter and summer.


Orangutans are omnivores just like humans and chimpanzees. They eat meat from small animals and insects in the trees. They also eat honey and some other vegetation. However, 90% of the diet is composed of fruits. 

Orangutans are known to eat approximately 400 fruit varieties, making them greater fruit consumers than any other ape. Durian fruits are the favorite but will not live behind a mango whenever you give it.

Gorillas are exclusively vegetarians and feed on a variety of leaves and fruits from the different tree varieties. Others in the bamboo forests eat bamboo shoots. 

However, the western lowland gorillas sometimes have an appetite for ants and termites and sometimes even reach to the extent of breaking termite nests to feast on the larvae.


We understand surviving in the wild is a challenging thing, especially where there are predators. But where there is good nutrition and away from any threat, an orangutan can live to approximately 35 and 45 years in the wild.

In captivity, orangutans can last up to 50 years; this could be because they are always on care and get treatment in case of diseases.

Gorillas in the wild can live between 35 and 40 years. In captivity, gorillas can also last up to 50 years. The commonest disease that kills most of the gorillas is associated with respiratory problems. They can sometimes recover on their own, but most end up being weak and can end up dead.

Bite Power

Although orangutans feed entirely on fruits, you should never underestimate them for their biting power. Keep in mind that they are among the strongest apes. Orangutans have a biting power of 575 PSI. Such a biting force is about four times stronger than that of humans. 

Being the strongest of the apes, gorillas have the greatest power jaw. Gorillas have a biting force of approximately 1,300 PSI. The jaw power is enough for the gorillas to tear and chew through roots and tree barks. 


Apart from poaching, orangutans also fall prey to predators like leopards, tigers, and crocodiles. Animals like black eagles, pythons, and bearded pigs feast on the young orangutans. 

Humans are also a great threat with their hunt for bush meat; this could explain why it is even safer for the orangutan to spend most of its life swinging across the tree tops.

Gorilla’s population is greatly reduced by poachers. Most people in Central Africa living near the forests are hunters and hunt most animals that come their way. However, animals like hyenas, leopards, eagles, and lions eat gorillas whenever they get the chance to do so.


Although orangutans are not as vocal as other apes, they produce various sounds. Male orangutans make long calls, starting with softer barking notes to a loud series of heavy roars. Long calls are for attracting females and also identify other individuals near them. 

Female orangutans can also make kiss squeak sounds when agitated. When building nests, they usually make raspberry sounds.

Gorillas utter different sounds, like screaming, hooting, and roaring. Tit produces different sounds depending on the situation. It roars when provoked, and others scream when playing. They hoot to show authority while slapping their chests. 


Like all the other primates, orangutans have forward-facing eyes. The eye’s position enables three-dimensional vision. They also have trichromatic cells that help see all types of colors. In short, orangutans have exceptional eyesight, just like humans.

Gorillas, on the other hand, can also see all the types of colors. However, they have a dark-brown eye color that has a black ring around the iris. The black ring in the gorillas’ eyes makes it challenging to know where it focuses.

Read: Orca vs Polar Bear: Who Would Win in a Fight?

Who Would Win in a Fight? Orangutan or Gorilla

When it comes to a fight between an adult Orangutan and an adult Gorilla,, an adult gorilla will win.

Gorillas are stronger, able to lift 1,300 pounds, while an orangutan can only lift a weight of approximately 5oo pounds. Besides, gorillas have the strongest biting force among all apes, which will need only a single bite on the neck to kill an orangutan.

Gorillas are heavier and more masculine than orangutans. And we should understand that the heavier the animal is, the stronger the energy it possesses.

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.