7 May 2011
Last updated at 09:47
Keepers at Blackpool Zoo are celebrating a special birthday on Saturday as Meisie, the first critically endangered Western Lowland Gorilla to be born at the zoo, turns one.
Meisie's father is the zoo's resident silverback gorilla Bukavu while her mother is called Miliki. Meisie is Afrikaans for 'baby girl'.
Charlotte Pennie, senior primate keeper at Blackpool Zoo, said: "Meisie has positively flourished and is very confident and inquisitive. She began to walk at around six months and is now climbing on the ropes and easily reaching the different levels in the gorilla house."
She continued: "Since January she has been getting her first teeth through and is proudly displaying the 12 she has already to keepers and visitors alike. She will not be fully weaned from her mother until she is between two and three years but is already enjoying eating lots of solid foods like fruit, vegetables, eggs and cheese."
Miliki, who was born in 1994, and Bukavu, who is 14, are both first-time parents. The other two members in Blackpool's troop of gorillas are Miliki's half-sister Njema and the eldest female is Kena.
Western Lowland Gorillas are critically endangered in the wild as the threat from humans and deforestation continues to grow in their homelands of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Parques Reunidos, the owners of the zoo, invested over £1m during 2010, with a further £850,000 being invested during 2011. Last year visitor numbers topped 350,000, a record high.