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22 October 2020 08:42

Gorillas Nigeria Cross River gorilla

Adorable baby gorilla being hand-reared by zoo staff as mum can't care for him

A baby gorilla is being hand-reared by zookeepers after his mother struggled to care for him. The two-month-old western lowland gorilla is being bottle-fed and comforted by staff at Bristol Zoo Gardens. Mother Kala gave birth naturally but staff had to step in when she could not give him enough milk. During the day, he is looked after in the Gorilla House to allow Kala and other apes to see him, smell him and be near him, to ensure he is accepted as a family member. At night he is cared for by keepers at zoo-owned accommodation on the site.

Lynsey Bugg, the zoo's mammals curator, 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. Lynsey said keepers would do their best to treat him like a gorilla mum would, making gorilla sounds and expecting him to hold on tight. She 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." Keepers are asking the public to help name the new arrival, by choosing from a shortlist of three deriving from local languages in his native Equatorial Guinea in Africa. Motuku means "chief of the village", Hasani means "handsome" and Kidosi is a popular name in Africa. An infant western lowland gorilla is being given round-the-clock care by keepers after his mother found it difficult to care for him.

The two-month-old male gorilla has not been feeding well and is not getting enough milk from his mother Kala, so keepers at Bristol Zoo took the decision to bottle feed him. A small team of experienced keepers is now caring for him day and night for the next four months, after which it is hoped he will be ready to return to the rest of the group. During the day, the baby gorilla is being looked after in the Gorilla House to allow plenty of opportunities for Kala and the other gorillas to see him, smell him and be near him, and ensure that he continues to be accepted as a familiar member of the gorilla family. At night, the infant is being cared for by keepers in zoo-owned accommodation onsite. Mammals curator Lynsey Bugg 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. "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." The male gorilla is being hand reared by keepers (Bristol Zoo Gardens/PA) The youngster needs a name and the zoo is inviting members of the public to help choose. – Kidosi: popular African name, particularly in Central Africa A team of specialists helped western lowland gorilla Kiki have an emergency C-section last week. 4 A male western lowland gorilla baby rests with his mother Kiki Credit: Reuters 4 The baby was delivered by Cesarean section at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Massachusetts Credit: Reuters He is the first male gorilla to be born at Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Massachusetts. Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered.

Most read in News LIVES DESTROYED Wife of football fan, 48, blasts hooligans who attacked him after he dies JAB TRIAL DEATH Volunteer in Oxford Uni Covid vaccine trial who took placebo dies of virus CIRCUIT BRAKER Boris Johnson rules out half-term circuit breaker lockdown for good Exclusive THE CLUCK'N CHEEK! Dr Eric Baitchman said: "For the health of mum and baby, it was imperative to quickly diagnose Kiki's condition and perform a C-section before she went into labour on her own. "This was truly a team effort, and we are relieved and happy that the surgery went smoothly and that mom and baby are both safe and healthy." 4 He is the first male gorilla to be born at the zoo Credit: Reuters 4 An ultrasound is performed on pregnant lowland gorilla Kiki Credit: Reuters A baby gorilla born in August at Bristol Zoo is being reared by a team of dedicated humans after his mother was unable to care for him. Both baby and mother are said to be doing well despite now being separated, the zoo says. A baby gorilla (pictured) born in August at Bristol Zoo is being reared by a team of dedicated humans after his mother was unable to look after him The as-yet-unnamed ape will be bottle-fed and tended for round the clock by zookeepers and reintroduced to the wider group in about four months' time Mother Kala is nine years old was struggling to look after the little male baby and was not providing enough milk for him. Both baby and mother are said to be doing well despite now being separated 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.' Lynsey said keepers would do their best to treat him like a gorilla mum would, expecting him to hold on tight, and making gorilla vocalisations so his reintroduction into the group is as easy as possible. She 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.' Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the gorilla house is open to visitors but the baby is not visible to the public at this formative stage of its life. Members of the public are being asked to help name the gorilla, with a public vote on the zoo's Facebook page. The four choices are Motuku, Hasani, Luango and Kidosi. Mother Kala, who came to Bristol from Germany in 2018, gave birth naturally with the baby's father, Jock, nearby on August 19. Keepers arrived in the morning to find the little gorilla nestling in his mother's arms. Pictured, the infant gorilla in the arms of mother Kala in Bristol Zoo the day after being born. Nine-year-old Kala, who came to Bristol Zoo from Germany in 2018, gave birth naturally with the baby's father, Jock, nearby on August 19 Zookeepers now know the gorilla is a male but have not decided on a name, which will be picked following a public vote on Facebook Nine-year-old Kala, a western lowland gorilla, with her infant, which she gave birth to on August 19 in the Gorilla House at Bristol Zoo Gardens The infant joins a troop of six gorillas at the zoo, which are part of a breeding programme to help safeguard the future of western lowland gorillas In September last year, Kala lost her first infant after undergoing an emergency cesarean section and keepers are now keen to ensure the latest baby has the best chance of survival. Ms Bugg said at the time: 'We knew we were having a baby gorilla due and we've been on baby watch for a little while. 'I came in to find a brand new baby in the house. 'Last year she did have a pregnancy and birth but it didn't go as planned and unfortunately the baby didn't survive. 'We were a bit on tenterhooks this time round and it is so lovely that she was able to give birth naturally. and baby and mum are really well. 'She's a very attentive mother and very nurturing and you see lots of suckling from the baby, and the baby looks really strong and a good size.' The new gorilla joins a troop of six gorillas at the zoo, which are part of a breeding programme to help safeguard the future of western lowland gorillas. Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered primates from Cameroon, in the west Central Africa region. Bristol Zoo Gardens is actively involved in ensuring there is a strong population in human care. Lowland gorillas, which can weigh up to 400lb as adults and stand 6ft tall, are usually not aggressive - unless disturbed. Lynsey Bugg, the zoo's curator of mammals, said in August: 'We knew we were having a baby gorilla due and we've been on baby watch for a little while. I came in yesterday morning to find a brand new baby in the house.