Bristol Zoo’s baby gorilla Afia is growing up fast after becoming a UK first c-section gorilla infant
This heartwarming photo album captures Britain’s first ever gorilla born by c-section growing up into an “extremely determined” infant.
Afia was delivered by emergency caesarean section in February after her mum Kera became critically ill.
Now 20 weeks old, the Western Lowland gorilla is exploring her surroundings at Bristol Zoo and learning to play, climb and feed herself.
Keepers have now released a series of pictures showing her climbing ropes, foraging in plants and being tickled on her tummy.
Her favourite foods are avocado and sweet potato and she is said be developing a “strong personality” – but can be “quite stroppy”.
Lynsey Bugg, curator of mammals at Bristol Zoo, said: “We have started training her to come to us for her bottles.
“If we are successful in reintroducing her to the group, it’s important she understands being called to keepers for her milk as she will continue to receive it from us until she is around four years of age.
“She recently cut her eighth tooth and since then has been much more settled, meaning she has generally been in a better mood.
“She still likes a good tickle around her thighs and in her neck.”
Afia was born weighing 2lbs 10oz after her mother Kera suffered life-threatening pre-eclampsia.
She has been hand-reared because her 11-year-old mother was too weak because of the after-effects of her condition.
Afia still sleeps for most of the night, stirring for a feed around 11pm and naps two or three times during the day.
A spokeswoman for Bristol Zoo added: “Overall she is much more active, more mobile and is getting into everything.
“She loves banging things, especially things that make lots of noise, and continues to spend some time on keeper’s backs – just as she would be doing if she was with her mum, Kera.
“Keepers have had to start wearing kneepads to protect their knees!”