19/08/2020

Baby gorilla born at Bristol Zoo Gardens

A baby gorilla has been born, helping to secure the future of this critically endangered species.

The tiny western lowland gorilla arrived in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday, August 19) in the Gorilla House at the Zoo.

Nine-year-old Kala gave birth naturally, overnight to the infant with dad, Jock, just a few metres away and the rest of the family troop nearby. Keepers arrived this morning to find the little gorilla nestling in its mother’s arms.

Lynsey Bugg, Curator of Mammals at Bristol Zoo, said: “We are all thrilled. There is something very special about seeing a new-born baby gorilla, they are such an iconic and charismatic species.”

She said both Kala, who came to Bristol Zoo from Germany in 2018, and her baby were doing very well.

Lynsey said: “She is being very attentive and taking good care of her baby. It’s very early days but we are cautiously optimistic. The early signs are good and the baby looks to be a good size and is strong.”

The new gorilla joins our troop of six gorillas, which are part of a breeding programme to help safeguard the future of western lowland gorillas.

One of Bristol Zoological Society’s flagship conservation projects focuses on western lowland gorillas in Monte Alén National Park, Equatorial Guinea – an area highlighted by the IUCN as critically important for the conservation of this species.

For more than 20 years The Society has also supported a sanctuary in Cameroon which helps look after orphaned gorillas and chimpanzees.

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.

Visitors should be able to see the new gorilla as they pass through the Gorilla House on our new one-way route.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is owned and run by Bristol Zoological Society, which also operates Wild Place Project. It is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work at Wild Place and Bristol Zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.

In March, the Society launched an appeal to ensure the future of its work ‘saving wildlife together’. To find out more, or to make a donation, visit the appeal page.

Visitors to Bristol Zoo are now asked to pre-purchase and members asked to pre-book tickets in advance, online, here.

Photograph by Holly Hill

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