This is the adorable moment when a little gorilla clings to his doting mother while the primate carries him around her enclosure.
The four-month-old western lowland gorilla was born in Bristol Zoo Gardens in December during the national lockdown.
Members of the public will be able to see the child for the first time when the zoo reopens its gates to visitors on Monday.
The gorilla doesn’t have a name yet, but staff will vote for his name this week ahead of the zoo’s opening.
It took the zoo staff a while to figure out what sex the child was, as Mother Touni kept it so close in the early months.
The four-month-old western lowland gorilla was born in Bristol Zoo Gardens in December during the national lockdown
Adorable photos show the little boy, who has not yet been named, clinging to his mother Touni
Zoo staff will vote on baby gorilla’s name this week ahead of the zoo’s reopening on Monday
A Bristol Zoo spokesperson told Mail Online: “He’s growing very well. He is really a healthy and strong young.
‘He is developing well, is becoming increasingly alert and is more interested in eating and playing with his relatives around him.
They added, “He’s also enjoying the sun on the gorilla island as the weather gets better.”
Bristol Zoological Society, which operates both Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project, is part of an internationally important breeding and conservation program.
For more than 20 years, the association has supported a shelter in Cameroon that helps shelter orphaned gorillas and chimpanzees.
The unnamed child was the second baby gorilla born at the zoo in less than six months.
Mother Touni gave birth to the child overnight, with Father, Jock and the rest of the family nearby.
It is 13-year-old Touni’s second baby. In April 2017 she gave birth to Ayana, who still lives at the zoo.
The new baby was born just four months after another gorilla, ten-year-old Kala, gave birth to Hasani – who is currently hand-reared by caregivers after Kala struggled to care for him.
The unnamed child was the second baby gorilla born at the zoo in less than six months
Bristol Zoological Society, which operates both Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project, is part of an internationally important breeding and conservation program
For more than 20 years, the association has supported a shelter in Cameroon that helps care for orphaned gorillas and chimpanzees
The zoo spokesman continued: ‘It’s nice to see him grow up in the family group at Bristol Zoo, because there are two other youngsters next to him, ages three and four.
“It’s a fun way for those two to learn good maternal instincts from the mom in the group.
Western Lowland Gorilla: The population of critically endangered species has decreased by 60 percent
The western lowland gorilla is largely found in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea, as well as Gabon and the Republic of the Congo.
The exact number of gorillas is unknown as they mainly live in dense and remote rainforests in Africa.
However, significant populations exist in isolated swamps and the remote swampy forests of the Republic of Congo.
Western lowland gorillas are slightly smaller than their counterparts, with brownish-gray coats and chestnut brown chests.
They also have wider skulls with more pronounced brow ridges and smaller ears.
They weigh up to 440 pounds and can be as long as 6ft.
Gorilla numbers have declined in recent years due to poaching and disease, with populations declining by 60 percent over the past 25 years.
“They learn from the Touni how to be a good mother.”
Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered primates from Cameroon, in western Central Africa. Many wild gorillas are shot by hunters for the bushmeat trade that thrives in towns and cities.
Bristol Zoo Gardens is actively involved to ensure that there is a strong population under human care.
Lowland gorillas, which can weigh up to 400 pounds as adults and be up to 6 feet tall, are usually not aggressive – unless disturbed.
Nigel Simpson, Head of Animal Collections, said: “It is important to help protect the future of western lowland gorillas, which are critically endangered in the wild.
Nigel said, “Touni is an excellent mother and she takes very good care of her baby. All early signs are positive and the baby looks strong and healthy. ‘
The new gorilla joins the troop of seven others at the zoo, who are part of a breeding program to secure the future of western lowland gorillas.
Gorillas are hunted for their meat and their young are regularly taken and sold as pets, often only to be abandoned or starved to death.
Visitors should be able to see the new gorilla as they pass through the Gorilla House or look outside at the Gorilla Island.
Bristol Zoo Gardens is one of several outdoor attractions reopening to the public on Monday, in line with the government’s roadmap to not lock.
Chester Zoo, Blackpool Zoo, Colchester Zoo, Whipsnade Zoo, Longleat Safari Park, Banham Zoo and Paignton Zoo will also welcome visitors.
Legoland Windsor, Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures and London Zoo will all welcome visitors again from April 12, but with different security measures to make them Covid-secure.
New Hygienic and safety measures in place to help protect guests include temperature controls upon arrival, enhanced cleaning, one-way systems, and social distance markers in queues, shops and restaurants.
Some sites also limit ticket sales to six to prevent people out of the house from breaking the ‘rule of six’.