A tiny western lowland gorilla has been born at Bristol Zoo Gardens – to the delight of keepers who welcomed the new baby just days before Christmas.
Arriving in the early hours of 22nd December, the new gorilla is the second to be born at the Zoo in less than six months and great news for the conservation of this endangered species.
Mum, Touni, gave birth naturally to the infant in the Gorilla House at the heart of the Zoo, with dad, Jock, and the rest of the family troop nearby. The new arrival is the second baby for 13-year-old Touni, who gave birth to Ayana in April 2017.
The new baby was born just four months after another gorilla, ten-year-old Kala, gave birth to Hasani, who is currently being hand-reared by keepers after Kala struggled to care for him.
The new gorilla joins the troop of seven others at the Zoo, which are part of a breeding programme to help safeguard the future of western lowland gorillas, which are critically endangered in the wild.
Nigel Simpson, Bristol Zoological Society’s Head of Animal Collections, said: “It is simply wonderful to see a new-born gorilla, they are so charismatic and such an iconic species.”
“Touni is an excellent mother and she is taking very good care of her baby. All the early signs are positive and the baby looks to be strong and healthy. We will be keeping a very close eye on both mother and baby as these early days are so important.
“This is also great news for Bristol Zoological Society, which operates both Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project, as we are part of an internationally important breeding and conservation programme.”
Visitors to the Zoo should be able to see the new gorilla as they pass through the Gorilla House or look onto the Gorilla Island outside. For further information on booking advance tickets, go to: https://bristolzoo.org.uk/online-booking
Watch footage of mum Touni with her new baby here