Gorilla vs Wolf: Who Would Win in a Fight?


Written by Stephanie Heath

Published: January 25, 2024

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When thinking of incredible animals, the gorilla and wolf may be two that come to mind. After all, the world’s largest primate and the apex predator each have their arsenals of spectacular traits. While both are impressive on their own, what would happen if these two remarkable animals went head to head? Would the sheer weight and size of the gorilla be enough to take a wolf down? Or would the wolf’s sharp teeth and hunting capabilities place it on top? This article will compare these two magnificent creatures and will reveal who would win in the fight: gorilla vs. wolf. 

Comparing a Gorilla and a Wolf 

SizeWeight: 220-440 pounds
Height: 4-6 feet tall
Weight: 80-160 pounds
Height: 2.5 feet to the shoulder and 6 feet long
Speed and Movement TypeTop Speed: 25mphTop Speed: 45mph
-Size and threat displays
– Pack mentality
– Selective predation
-Speed and balance
Offensive Capabilities-Upper body strength
– Strong bite force (1,300 PSI)
– Large hands with opposable thumbs
-Long canine teeth
-Bite force (400PSI)
-Great stamina
Predatory Behavior-Opportunistic hunters of vegetation– Ability to ambush prey
-Excellent sense of smell

What Are the Key Differences Between a Gorilla and a Wolf? 

Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) Stalks Forward

Wolves can be found in arctic tundras, mountains, forests, plains, and other types of northern environments.

©Holly Kuchera/iStock via Getty Images

While gorillas and wolves are both mammals and impressive creatures, there are key differences between them. One thing that sets these two animals apart is their size. Although both animals are large, gorillas stand much taller and are dramatically heavier than wolves. Additionally, their diets are drastically different. Wolves are carnivores that primarily consume large, hoofed animals. Despite their large physique gorillas mainly eat plant matter.

Also, their habitats differ. Gorillas inhabit the tropical forests of Africa whereas wolves are native to the northern hemisphere. One final difference is that gorillas have hair whereas wolves have fur.

What Are the Key Factors in a Fight Between a Gorilla and a Wolf? 

Although these two animals would most likely never meet in the wild due to their difference in habitats, in this article we will assume that these animals crossed paths and are in an environment that would be considered an even playing ground for both of them. With habitat excluded, this article will discuss the key factors that would determine who would win the fight of gorilla vs. wolf. After presenting that data, we will reveal the winner of this fight.

Gorilla vs Wolf: Size

Eastern lowland gorilla

The average gorilla weighs between 220-440 pounds.


The largest of all primates didn’t get that name for no reason. The gorilla is a sizeable animal. While there are some slight differences, depending on the type of gorilla, the average height of a gorilla is between 4 and 6 feet, and the average weight is between 220-440 pounds. Additionally, gorillas have a very distinct shape. They have smaller chests and large stomachs with large, powerful, arms.

Wolves are much smaller than the gorilla. While a wolf may reach 6 feet in length, its height from floor to shoulder only reaches about 2.5 feet. Additionally, while there may be slight variation between species, their average weight is between 80-160 pounds. These four-legged animals have pointed ears, elongated snouts, bushy tails, and thick fur.

The gorilla is much larger than the wolf, so it wins the advantage in this category.

Gorilla vs Wolf: Speed and Movement 

Dark grey wolf running out of the forest in winter.

Wolves can maintain their top speed for at least 20 minutes when hunting.

©Warren Metcalf/Shutterstock.com

While gorillas can move at speeds of up to 25mph, the average gorilla runs around 20 mph. Gorillas put their long arms to use by running on all fours, using their powerful arm muscles to help propel them forward.

While the gorilla may be faster than the average human, they are no match for the wolf. On average, wolves can reach speeds of up to 45 mph. Not only that, but they can cover up to 16 feet in a single bound and can maintain that speed for at least 20 minutes.

The wolf’s speed is much faster and can be maintained longer, so they beat the gorilla in this category.

Gorilla vs. Wolf: Defenses 

Wolf pack interacting

Wolves’ coloring allows them to blend in with their surroundings helping them avoid potential predators.

©AB Photographie/Shutterstock.com

The gorilla has two main defensive tactics. One is relying on their perception of aggressiveness to drive away others. Additionally, gorillas will bang on their chests, stomp their feet, or stand up straight and make noise to make themselves seem larger and more threatening. If an animal does approach them, they have their speed and knuckle-walking to get them away from danger.

Along with their incredible speed, a wolf’s coloring is another one of its defense mechanisms. Usually, a wolf’s coloring will match the colors of its habitat, allowing it to easily blend in and avoid predators. Also, wolves are pack animals. Staying in a large group makes the wolf a more difficult target.

Although the wolf in our fight scenario would be alone and not with its pack, its ability to blend in and easily outrun the gorilla gives it the advantage in this section.

Gorilla vs. Wolf: Offensive Capabilities 

Mountain Gorilla

Although a gorilla’s diet is mostly plant-based, they still have large, powerful teeth and an impressive bite force.

©Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock.com

Along with their large size, gorillas also possess large teeth. Although their diet mostly consists of plants, their teeth are capable of grinding and breaking down a substantial amount of tough material. In addition to those teeth, gorillas also pack a powerful bite force. This primate has a bite force of 1,300 PSI! Additionally, gorillas have large hands and strong upper arms. According to Seaworld, “An adult gorilla’s upper body strength is six times more powerful than that of an adult human — enabling them to lift, break, and squeeze heavy objects.” Also, they have large, strong hands, with opposable thumbs that allow them to easily grab and manage objects.

Wolves have 42 adult teeth in their mouths, the most noticeable of those teeth being the canines. Those canines are perfect for grabbing hold of their prey, tearing through meat, and crushing bones. While their bite force is usually only around 400 PSI, it still helps them to easily latch onto their prey and keep it from getting away.

Although the wolf’s canines appear terrifying, the size, strength, and larger bite force of the gorilla give it the upper hand in this category.

Gorilla vs. Wolf: Predatory Behavior 

Eurasian wolf hunting

The Eurasian wolf hunts moose, deer, wild boar,


, wild goats, and other mammals.

©Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock.com

Although gorillas are not considered apex predators like wolves, they are not to be mistaken for easy prey either. Leopards are the main animals that attack gorillas, and even they hesitate before attempting to take down a full-grown, male gorilla. Other than their defensive tactics, gorillas do not have many predatory behaviors. They are opportunistic omnivores, but they are always aware of their surroundings and do attempt to scare off predators with chest beating and other tactics.

Wolves are apex predators. They are known to ambush their prey and usually go for areas such as the shoulders or flank of an animal. Although they can hunt alone, wolves are known to hunt in packs and surround their prey. This helps with the success rate as the pack can surround the animal and attack it from all sides. Regardless, hunting for a wolf is dangerous and they have a relatively low success rate when it comes to their hunting.

This category ends in a draw. While the gorilla has the upper hand with its size and strength, the wolf has better predatory instincts and is better at ambushing prey.

Who Would Win in a Fight Between a Gorilla and a Wolf? 


Gorillas can be aggressive animals.

©Jiri Fejkl/Shutterstock.com

In a fight between a gorilla and a wolf, the gorilla would win. While the wolf has stronger predatory behaviors, impressive teeth, and speed, it is no match for the gorilla’s strength. Even if the wolf ambushed the gorilla, unless it got very lucky with the location that hindered the gorilla unable to defend itself, the gorilla could easily crush the wolf.

Its large size, immense strength, and stronger bite force make the gorilla the winner of this duel. If there was an entire pack of wolves fighting the gorilla, they would stand a much better chance and could be successful. However, a lone wolf vs. gorilla would lose every time.

What Animal Could Take Down a Gorilla?

Leopard on the prowl at Colchester Zoo

Leopards are known for being stealthy, extremely powerful cats.


Leopards are one of the only animals that hunt gorillas as their prey. With their incredible speed, keen senses, powerful bite, and sharp claws it is no wonder they are considered an apex predator. While gorillas may be larger, the leopard is a cunning hunter who knows how and when to strike the gorilla for maximum impact. For a full breakdown of what a showdown between these two animals would be like, check out Leopard vs. Gorilla: Who Would Win in a Fight?

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About the Author

Stephanie is a writer at A-Z Animals that primarily covers a variety of animals and unique destinations. Stephanie is a published author and has been writing for many years. With a Bachelor's Degree in English and Elementary Education, Stephanie is familiar with writing for a variety of ages and audience types. As a Virginia resident, Stephanie enjoys reading, writing, traveling, and snuggling up with her beagle named Pooch!

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