First glimpse of newborn gorilla at Bristol zoo

  • 03/10/2011

Bristol Zoo and Gardens have welcomed the birth of a new baby gorilla.

Proud mother Salome has been cradling her new-born close to her chest since giving birth. It is the third birth for the 35-year-old gorilla, whose second child Komale also lives in the zoo.

Assistant curator Linsey Butt described it as an uncomplicated birth and said mother and baby have so far given no reasons for concern.

"Mum and baby are doing really well. Salome is an experienced mum so she knows exactly what she's doing. She's very relaxed. The baby looks good, looks strong, nice and active. So the initial signs, yeah, are really positive."

Salome, who belongs to the critically endangered lowland gorilla species, became the first in the world to receive fertility treatment in 2006.

However, her latest offspring was conceived naturally with male gorilla Jock.

Last week the gorilla enclosure was temporarily closed soon after the birth to give all animals an opportunity to bond with the new baby.

Ms Butt described the other gorillas as "very excited on the whole" about the addition, saying that "they're very relaxed about it all".

Over the coming weeks staff will be keeping a close eye on mother and baby to ensure that there are no complications between them and the rest of the group.

"We want people to come and see [the baby], but we're not going to sort of push her into the situation where we can guarantee her being seen," explained John Partridge, senior curator at the zoo.

The baby hasn't been named yet. Zoo staff are currently waiting to determine its sex once protective mother Salome allows them to come closer.

The birth also marks the latest success of an international conservation breeding programme which was set up to protect the endangered western lowland gorilla.

3 News / Reuters

source: newshub archive