If you wake up my baby I’ll go ape! The moment a 200lb gorilla cradles her newborn baby seconds after giving birth
Five years ago she became the first gorilla in the world to have fertility treatment.
So it’s little wonder Salome looks utterly content as she cradles her newborn – who arrived following nothing more complicated than a bit of monkeying around.
The western lowland gorilla gave birth on Tuesday, but the baby has not yet been named because Salome, 35, is so protective of her third child that she won’t loosen her grip for keepers to determine its sex.
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Gorilla Island: The island where Bristol Zoo's gorillas are kept, and where the newest arrival was born
John Partridge, senior curator of animals at Bristol Zoo, 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, therefore it is still too early to determine the sex of the baby.’
Salome was given the human fertility drug Clomid – which encourages the ovaries to release eggs – in 2006 after her keepers noticed she had failed to conceive despite mating regularly with partner Jock. The treatment was a success and she gave birth to a son, Komale, later that year. Her first baby was conceived naturally and born in 1988.
The western lowland gorilla is an endangered species, with just 100,000 left in the wild.
Thefirst 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.
Mr Partridge added: '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 thegorilla group, are healthy, content and bonding well.'Aswell 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.
Thisyear 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.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2042793/New-gorilla-baby-Bristol-Zoo-Salome-affectionately-cradles-newborn.html#ixzz1ZI0bHd1i
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