Leicester

Twycross Zoo gorilla moves to Longleat for breeding programme

Boulas inside a crate on a forklift truck
Image caption Boulas was transported into the van using a forklift truck

A gorilla has made a 150 mile (241km) journey from a Leicestershire zoo to a new home in Wiltshire as part of a worldwide breeding programme.

Boulas, a male western lowland gorilla, was transferred from Twycross Zoo to a new enclosure at Longleat Safari and Adventure Park on Monday.

Vets said the transporting of the 440lb (200kg) silverback went very well.

One of his keepers said Boulas had an important role to play in the conservation of his endangered species.

Donna Smithson, who looked after Boulas at Twycross Zoo, said: "Whilst he will be missed by staff and visitors here at the zoo, this is a very important step for the ongoing conservation of this species."

'Very calm'

Boulas was sedated and moved into a specially constructed crate, which was then transported into a van using a forklift truck.

Twycross Zoo's living collections curator, Charlotte Macdonald, said: "Boulas came around once secured inside his crate and remained very calm during the entire process."

Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

They are hunted for their meat and captured for the pet trade, according to the organisation.

Twycross Zoo still has three western lowland gorillas, a silverback called Oumbi, and two females, Ozala and Asante.

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