These adorable photos show the moment the first baby gorilla born by c-section emerged outside – still wrapped in her keeper’s fleece.
The seven-week-old Western lowland gorilla Afia appeared blinking into the sun, huddled inside her carer’s sling.
Afia was delivered by emergency caesarean section in February after her mum Kera became critically ill.
She made her debut at Bristol Zoo’s island enclosure to start becoming used to outdoor sights and smells.
The gorgeous gorilla has been cared for round-the-clock by a team of keepers and is said to be developing well.
Her mother, who has suffered with anaemia, is also said to be recovering well and is eating and drinking regularly.
Keepers don’t yet know whether he will accept her baby, but another gorilla, Romina, is showing strong maternal instincts towards Afia and may well end up fostering her.
Afia’s name was chosen by public vote and means ‘Frida born child’ in Ghanaian. It was a firm favourite, winning over 9,000 votes.
Bristol Zoo’s curator of mammals Lynsey Bugg said: “We’re thrilled to now be able to refer to her by name and would like to thank the public for helping us choose.
“Afia was certainly a firm favourite among my team, and the Zoo as a whole, and it marks a key milestone in her development.
“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.”
The baby ape’s future outdoor expeditions will be short and weather dependant, and should see her learning more about her new surroundings.
Lynsey added: “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.”