One of Bristol Zoo's star attractions is the the Western Lowland Gorillas. The zoo is home to three adult gorillas, Jock, who is a 20 year old male, Salome who is a 27 year old female and Romina who is a 23 year old female. The photo above is of Salome who was sat outside on 'Gorilla Island' enjoying the sun, while her baby, called Komale played nearby. The picture below is of Komale as he tried to follow his mother and his comfort blankie got caught on a twig making him look like a caped crusader!
Below is another shot of Komale and Salome together. It was so sweet the way Komale carried his blanket around with him, and other than the fact that he used his mouth to carry it a lot of the time was just like a human child in many ways.
Gorillas are vegetarian and they were enjoying some ripe tomatoes and bananas at the time with obvious enjoyment. Western Lowland Gorillas come from areas of dense forest and swamp in West Africa, and are seriously threatened in the wild. The forests where they live are being exploited for timber and the gorillas are being hunted for their meat and for bush medicine.The Western Lowland Gorilla is the most populous species but it is likely that there are only approximately 80-100,000 individuals in the wild today. Bristol Zoo supports conservation work to protect wild gorillas in Cameroon.
The final photo is of the daddy gorilla, Jock. He was sat apart from mother and baby, trying to enjoy some peace and quiet while he ate his banana. At one point Komale ran over and started to climb him and he sat there impassively until Komale got bored and wandered off to play elsewhere. It really was a pleasure to see these gorillas at close quarters.