The newest addition to Bristol Zoo’s family of gorillas is “thriving” at four-weeks-old.
Born in the early hours of Wednesday, August 19 to nine-year-old Kala, the infant is feeding regularly and is growing well.
“Kala continues to be a great mother,” says Lynsey Bugg, curator of mammals at the zoo. “She is getting more confident carrying her baby around and has started carrying it on her back or on her arm, making it easier for her to move around the gorilla house and outside on their island.
“The baby is definitely looking very strong and healthy and is getting hairier and more alert. Kala continues to hold the baby very close which makes confirming its sex more difficult, but we hope we’ll be able to announce the sex of the little one very soon.”
Bristol Zoo hopes to announce the sex of the baby in time for World Gorilla Day on Thursday, September 24 and open a naming poll shortly after.
The baby is a boost for the conservation breeding programme for western lowland gorillas that the zoo is a part of.
The species has been listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the positive start for the new baby is good news for the species.
Gorillas are hunted for their meat and their young are regularly taken and sold as pets, often only to end up abandoned or dying of starvation.
The six western lowland gorillas living at Bristol Zoo are a positive sign for the future of the species.
“The baby’s half-siblings, Afia and Ayana, continue to show great interest in the newest addition to the family troop, which is great news – we are sure the youngster will be a great playmate for them before too long,” Lynsey adds.
“It’s also a great learning experience for them, showing them the skills they’ll need when they become mums themselves.”
Visitors can see the infant at Bristol Zoo in the Gorilla House.
Main photo: Katie Horrocks
Read more: Baby gorilla born at Bristol Zoo