Pictures capturing the heartwarming bond between a gorilla mother and her newborn at Bristol Zoo take the internet by storm.
The baby gorilla arrived on August 19, with the intimate first moments of mother and baby immortalized by the Zoo’s camera less than a fortnight later.
The unnamed infant is seen affectionately looking up at its mother while attempting to grab some of her food.
However, Kala, the nine-year-old mother, lovingly nudges the baby towards a healthier alternative – her milk.
The Zoo announced the baby’s arrival back in August. “Our nine-year-old Kala welcomed her baby after a natural overnight birth, with dad, Jock, and the rest of the family close by,” reported Bristol Zoo.
Lynsey Bugg, Bristol Zoo’s Mammals Curator, expressed joy at the newborn’s arrival, stating, “Witnessing a newborn gorilla is an extraordinary experience. They represent such a significant and charming species.”
Lynsey described Kala as an attentive and caring mother, ensuring her baby’s well-being. “Both Kala and the newborn are doing great.
The baby is robust, and Kala is showing great motherly instincts. We’re optimistic, yet cautious considering it’s still early days.”
Kala’s journey to motherhood wasn’t without tragedy. She tragically lost her firstborn last year when it was just a week old.
A complicated pregnancy led to an emergency cesarean due to a low-lying placenta obstructing the birth canal.
Despite the zoo staff’s efforts to provide a peaceful environment for bonding, the baby did not survive.
This time around, however, both Kala and her baby are flourishing. “Kala’s recent pregnancy brought happiness and joy, and they are visibly relishing their time together,” said the Zoo.
The Zoo further mentioned that this newborn is a precious addition to their group of six gorillas.
This group is part of a breeding initiative to ensure the survival of the endangered western lowland gorillas.
Originating from Cameroon in West Central Africa, western lowland gorillas face critical endangerment due to illegal hunting for bushmeat. Thus, the arrival of the baby gorilla at Bristol Zoo brings immense joy to the staff.
The baby’s sex remains a mystery, with the Zoo stating, “The baby appears strong and healthy, and as Kala keeps it close, determining its sex has been challenging. We hope to disclose the baby’s gender soon.”
The Zoo also revealed that the baby is connecting with other gorillas. “The baby’s half-siblings, Afia and Ayana, are curious about the new addition. It’s a learning experience for them, preparing them for motherhood.”
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