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Bristol Zoo Keepers Become Mom for Precious Gorilla Infant

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: October 22, 2020 9:30 am

gorilla infant bristol zoo

Bristol Zoo keepers are caring for a gorilla infant

Photo Credit: Bristol Zoo Gardens

An infant gorilla is being given round the clock the care by keepers at Bristol Zoo. While the infant was delivered naturally it was not feeding well and keepers observed that his mother Kala had been struggling to look after him.

After determining that he was not getting enough milk from his mother a dedicated team of keepers took over his care and are now feeding him day and night.

Keepers report that mother Kala is adjusting well and in good health. They continue to monitor Kala.

gorilla infant bristol zoo

Bristol Zoo keepers are caring for a gorilla infant

Photo Credit: Bristol Zoo Gardens

Lynsey Bugg, Mammals Curator at Bristol Zoo Gardens, said: “Hand-rearing any animal is not a decision we take lightly as our preference is always for an animal to be reared naturally by its own mother.

“Sadly this doesn’t always happen and in this instance we decided that it was in the baby gorilla’s best interests for us to hand rear him to ensure he had the best chance of survival.”

Keepers plan to care for the infant for the next four months before they attempt to reunite him with his group.

gorilla infant bristol zoo

Bristol Zoo keepers are caring for a gorilla infant

Photo Credit: Bristol Zoo Gardens

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The infant spends his days in the gorilla house where he can see, smell, hear and be near the rest of the group. This will ensure he remains familiar to the rest of the troop. At night the infant is cared for in zoo-owned accommodation.


Keepers ensure to treat him like a gorilla mum would including making him hold on tight and making gorilla vocalizations.

Bugg added: “It’s really important for him that he remains a familiar member of the group, as well as being used to all the sounds, sights and smells of the gorillas.”

gorilla infant bristol zoo

Bristol Zoo keepers are caring for a gorilla infant

Photo Credit: Bristol Zoo Gardens

Bristol Zoo has cared for gorilla since 1930. They run the breeding program on site at Bristol Zoo along with a conservation program in Equatorial Guinea in Africa.

They also provide significant funds for gorilla conservation in the wild. These funds support a gorilla orphanage in Cameroon.

Learn more about gorillas here – Gorilla Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about Bristol Zoo on their website – Bristol Zoo

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