Bristol

Rare C-section gorilla named Afia following public vote

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Media captionA baby gorilla born in an emergency caesarean at Bristol Zoo is taken outside for the first time.

A baby gorilla born in a rare emergency caesarean section at Bristol Zoo has been named Afia following a public vote.

The name - which means "Friday born child" in Ghanaian - was picked from a choice of three suggestions.

The seven week-old Western lowland gorilla was shown off by her keeper as she went outside for the first time.

Staff said her mother, Kera, who has been critically ill, is continuing to recover well.

Curator of mammals, Lynsey Bugg, said: "We're thrilled to now be able to refer to her (Afia) by name and would like to thank the public for helping us choose.

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Image caption Afia ventured outside for the first time with her keeper at Bristol Zoo

"Her introduction to the outdoors proves she is becoming stronger and more confident.

"She spent a lot of time looking around and taking in her surroundings while snuggled in the sling - and it is this type of stimulation that is imperative to her development.

"We hope to take her outside on a more regular basis as she physically develops; learning all areas of the enclosure will become more important."

The baby was delivered by emergency caesarean section in February after Kera developed pre-eclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition .

A spokesman said it was not yet known whether Afia, who is not yet on show to the public, will be accepted by her mother.

The spokesman added: "Another female gorilla, Romina, is showing strong maternal signs towards her.

"Keepers are now exploring the possibility of Romina fostering the infant in the future."

More than 9,000 votes were received to decide the baby gorilla's name.

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