A baby gorilla born by emergency caesarian at Bristol Zoo has been taken out for the first time. The seven-week-old Western lowland gorilla named Afia was born in an emergency caesarean in February.
Her mother, Kera, has been critically ill after showing signs of potentially life-threatening pre-eclampsia. As a result, Afia has been kept under 24-hour care by a team of four keepers.
Afia clung to her keeper, Lynsey Bugg as she was taken outside for the first time on 30 March. Bugg told ITV news that the baby gorilla stays with her in her home and requires the same attention as a new born baby.
Bugs, who is curator of mammals at the zoo, said: "As she gets older we want her to learn all parts of the enclosure so hopefully when we can get her back in with the family she'll already have a head-start.
"This is the first step and it's a spring morning, it's a bit sunny but it's still a bit chilly so we want to keep her nice and warm, but it's nice to give her some fresh air, stimulation and a change of scenery. To start with she was quite alert and quite interested and then I think she felt a little of the chilly wind and she tucked herself deep into my fleece and then she went to sleep.
"Our end game is to try to get her back with her family. We don't want an animal that's only living with humans – to me that's the opposite of what we're trying to do here."
According to Sky News, Afia's entry into the world is the first time that a gorilla has been born by caesarean section at Bristol Zoo. It is also one of only a handful of instances which have occurred in the world.