Critically Endangered Gorilla Gives Birth At Bristol Zoo
Nine-year-old Kala, a critically endangered western lowland gorilla, gave birth in the early hours of Wednesday morning with the baby's father, Jock, nearby.
Zookeepers said they arrived at the Gorilla House in the morning to find Kala had given birth naturally and was sat cradling her newborn. How cute is that?
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 told Sky News: "We knew we were having a baby gorilla due and we've been on baby watch for a little while.
"On Tuesday Kala looked nice and comfortable and not causing us any concerns or worries. I came in yesterday morning to find a brand new baby in the house. It was lovely.
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"Last year she did have a pregnancy and birth but it didn't go as planned and unfortunately the baby didn't survive.
"We were a bit on tenterhooks this time round and it is so lovely that she was able to give birth naturally and baby and mum are really well."
Lynsey added: "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."
It will be sometime before the zoo will be able to determine if the new arrival is a boy or girl, Lynsey explained: "They are not all that easy to sex and we want to have a few looks before we are certain."
The new gorilla is now part of group of six at the zoo, which are all part of a breeding programme to help ensure the species doesn't die out.
Western lowland gorillas are on the 'critically endangered list', with some estimates that there are as few as 100,000 left in the wild.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) estimates that numbers of western lowland gorillas have dropped more than 60 percent over the last 20 to 25 years due to poaching and disease.
Featured Image Credit: PA