Bristol

Baby western lowland gorilla born at Bristol Zoo

A western lowland gorilla has been born at Bristol Zoo.

Salome gave birth to the baby on Tuesday lunchtime with both mother and baby said to be "healthy, content and bonding well".

The gorilla house has been temporarily closed to the public to allow the primates, including father, Jock, to bond with the new arrival.

The sex of the baby, which is yet to be named, is currently unknown while the gorillas spend time with it.

Senior curator of animals John Partridge said: "It is still very early days, but Salome is a great mother and has been cradling and cuddling her baby affectionately.

"Salome keeps the baby very close and we are keen to give the gorillas space.

"Naturally the gorilla keepers will keep a very close eye on mother and baby in these crucial first few days and weeks."

This is Salome's third baby at Bristol Zoo. Her last, Komale, was born in December 2006.

The western lowland gorillas at the zoo are part of a conservation breeding programme for endangered species.

Vast numbers of primates have been affected by forest destruction, diseases and slaughter for the illegal bushmeat trade.

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