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Gorilla birth celebrated at Bristol Zoo

Bristol Zoo are celebrating the birth of a baby western lowland gorilla, born in the early hours of Saturday morning to first time mum, Touni, and dad Jock.

The sex of the infant is yet to be established, but keepers say the baby appears strong, healthy and is bonding well with its mother.

The new arrival takes the total number of gorillas at Bristol Zoo to eight. All live in the newly refurbished and extended Gorilla House, which is a state-of-the-art enclosure with a reinforced glass ceiling, allowing visitors to see gorillas walking overhead.

Nine year old Touni has been at the zoo in Clifton since September 2015, arriving from a zoo in France after reaching maturity.

Bristol Zoo’s team leader of large mammals, Sarah Gedman, said: “Although this is her first baby, Touni is part of a well-established family group and has seen plenty of births and maternal behaviour in her natal troop in France. Kuki, our youngest male has been seen peeking at the baby, and the females in the group are all showing interest in the new arrival but are keeping a respectful distance.”

Bristol Zoological Society has been involved in primate conservation since the late 1990s, supporting projects to prevent some of the most threatened species from becoming extinct. Bristol Zoo also supports the largest gorilla sanctuary in Africa, which is home to around 17 young gorillas, 90 chimpanzees and over 150 monkeys, helping play a vital role in protecting the species.

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