Mother love: The moment a 200lb gorilla cradles her newborn baby seconds after giving birth

By Daily Mail Reporter

Furry much in love: Salome cradling her newborn gorilla baby, still wet seconds after being born at Bristol Zoo Gardens yesterday. The baby's father Jock, is also bonding with the new arrival

She may be huge, but this gorilla mother is just as capable of showing how tenderly she treats a newborn as any other mother.

The first picture of the new arrival at Bristol Zoo reveals 200lb gorilla Salome showing her affection for her newborn seconds after giving birth.

The tiny western lowland gorilla, still wet only seconds after being born, sleeps in his mother's arms while she looks every bit the adoring mother.

Born at lunchtime yesterday, the gorilla baby is the latest addition to an international conservation breeding programme set up to protect this critically endangered species.

Both mother and baby appear to be doing well, and the Gorilla House has been closed to allow the gorillas, including the newborn's father Jock, time to bond with the new arrival.

But the youngster has yet to be named, as staff still do not know whether it is a girl or a boy.

Bristol Zoo's senior curator of animals, John Partridge, said,

'Salome keeps the baby very close and we are keen to give the gorillas space, therefore it is still too early to determine the sex of the baby.

He added, 'We are thrilled with the arrival of a baby gorilla.

'It is still very early days, but Salome is a great mother and has been cradling and cuddling her baby affectionately.

I only have eyes for you: Hours later Salome is still cuddling her new baby, which is starting to open its eyes

Snoozy does it: All this mothering is a tiring business. Salome manages to get a few minutes shut eye while the baby nestles in close

You still there? Mummy strokes her baby gently with one finger while she takes the opportunity to rest in the straw bedding
'We are pleased to say that both Salome and the baby are doing well.

'Naturally the gorilla keepers will keep a very close eye on mother and baby in these crucial first few days and weeks to ensure that they, along with the rest of the gorilla group, are healthy, content and bonding well.'

This is the third baby Salome has had at Bristol Zoo. Her last baby, Komale, was born in December 2006 following a course of ground-breaking fertility treatment, pioneered by Bristol Zoo’s former head vet, Sharon Redrobe.

This time however, Salome conceived her baby naturally.

Gentle giant: Salome takes her tiny new addition outside for some fresh air while it clings on to her

Gorilla Island: The island where Bristol Zoo's gorillas are kept, and where the newest arrival was born

As well as Salome and her baby, Bristol Zoo Gardens is also home to silverback Jock; Namoki, six; Komale, four; Kera; seven and Romina, the Zoo’s other adult female gorilla, famous for undergoing the first ever cataract operation performed in Europe on an adult gorilla.

This year Bristol Zoo celebrates its 175th birthday and is participating in the European Zoo Association’s Ape Campaign, which aims to raise funds and awareness of the threats facing gorillas in the wild.

The gorillas at Bristol Zoo are part of an international conservation breeding programme for the western lowland gorilla, which is a critically endangered species.



Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.