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Baby gorilla born at Bristol Zoo

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image captionThe baby gorilla arrived in the early hours of Wednesday

A baby gorilla has been born at Bristol Zoo.

Keepers arrived to find the new arrival nestling in the arms of its mother.

Photographs taken just hours after the birth on Wednesday show Kala - a nine-year-old western lowland gorilla - cradling the newborn. Staff said both were "doing well".

The zoo said Kala gave birth naturally with the baby's father, Jock, nearby. Her first baby died last year a week after it was born.

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image captionMother and child are both said to be doing well

Lynsey Bugg, the zoo's curator of mammals, said: "We knew we were having a baby gorilla due and we've been on baby watch for a little while.

"On Tuesday Kala looked nice and comfortable and not causing us any concerns or worries.

"I came in [on Wednesday] morning to find a brand new baby in the house. It was lovely."

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image captionLynsey Bugg said Kala was "a very attentive mother"

She said staff had been "on tenterhooks" following the death of Kala's first baby last September, a week after she underwent an emergency caesarean.

"It is so lovely that she was able to give birth naturally and baby and mum are really well.

"She's a very attentive mother and very nurturing and you see lots of suckling from the baby, and the baby looks really strong and a good size."

It will be a while before the zoo knows if the baby is male or female, Ms Bugg said.

"They are not all that easy to sex and we want to have a few looks before we are certain."

The new gorilla joins a troop of six at the zoo, which are part of a breeding programme.

The western lowland gorilla is classed as critically endangered, with some estimates putting the number left in the wild at about 100,000.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionThe sex of the baby is not yet known

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