Going out | Bristol Zoo’s infant gorilla at six months old
24 Feb 2021
Bristol Zoo’s young gorilla, who is being hand-reared by keepers, is making great progress at six months old
Bristol Zoo’s young gorilla Hasani, who was born last August, is being looked after round-the-clock by a team of keepers after his mother found caring for him challenging. They say he is very playful and mobile and enjoys walking, climbing and swinging from ropes.
Hasani now weighs around 6kg and has 10 teeth. He has started to eat small amounts of solid food, including carrots, sweet potato and green beans.
Lynsey Bugg, curator of mammals at Bristol Zoo Gardens, said: “Hasani can get himself around nicely now. He’s becoming much more confident in exploring on his own.” But, she said: “He’s not overly keen on the British winter. He likes to look at things and touch branches but he is quick to hunker down in the warm when it gets cold.”
Hasani is still being given five feeds of 180mls of milk over 12 hours throughout the day, but he no longer needs to be fed during the night. Lynsey said: “He sometimes opens his eyes if he’s thirsty and stirs quite a bit in the night but doesn’t really wake up.”
Hasani is gradually being reintroduced to his seven fellow western lowland gorillas at the Zoo, although he is yet to live with them. He stays with keepers behind the mesh where he can see and smell the rest of the troop.
Lynsey said: “The females will all come over to see and sniff him. His mother, Kala, will regularly give him gentle grumbles, a vocalisation that is positive and welcoming. They quite enjoy sitting with him whilst he climbs on the mesh between them.
“We are spending time with him in all areas of the Gorilla Island exhibit, so he will get used to the island ready for when he goes back to live with the group, hopefully later this year.”
Bristol Zoological Society has been caring for gorillas since 1930 and plays a significant role in a conservation breeding programme for western lowland gorillas, as well as running a conservation programme in Equatorial Guinea in Africa.
The Society also raises funds for gorilla conservation in the wild, supports a gorilla orphanage in Cameroon and has pioneered veterinary treatment for gorillas.
Supporting the charity
Bristol Zoological Society is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund important work at Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project, but also vital conservation and research projects spanning four continents.
In March 2020, the Society launched an appeal to ensure the future of its work Saving Wildlife Together. To find out more or to make a donation, visit bristolzoo.org.uk/bzsappeal