16:59 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Bristol Zoo baby gorilla

    'Miracle' Baby Gorilla Born in UK Settles With Surrogate Mom for Christmas

    © Photo : Bristol Zoo
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    A baby gorilla born by caesarian section and weened by zoo staff in the UK has been adopted by a new family in time for Christmas.

    While gorillas probably don't actually know it's Christmas, a baby gorilla called Afia certainly has something to celebrate at the end of 2016.

    ​Afia was born ten months ago through emergency Caesarian section and had to be hand-reared by zoo staff who spent many a sleepless night providing 24 care for her. Afia has received more than 1,570 bottle feeds, 112 piggy back rides and 1,400 nappy changes at Bristol zoo for the first ten months of her life.

    ​But ten months later and the small Western lowland gorilla has begun to settle in with her fellow primates and now lives with them 24 hours a day.

    Bristol Zoo baby gorilla
    © Photo : Bristol Zoo
    Bristol Zoo baby gorilla

    Afia's surrogate mother, Romina lives on Gorilla Island in Bristol Zoo, but getting her there has required a "fine balance" between human and gorilla interaction.

    "Since her birth in February, our team has worked tirelessly to hand-rear Afia 24/7 while being mindful to ensure human imprinting was kept to a minimum," Lyn Bugg curator of mammals at Bristol Zoo said.

    Bristol Zoo baby gorilla
    © Photo : Bristol Zoo
    Bristol Zoo baby gorilla

    Romina is one of the oldest members of the group and was trained to return Afia to the keepers for feeding when Afia was very young.

    "Our ultimate goal has always been to reunite Afia with her gorilla family, so we all feel immensely proud and relieved to now see her where she belongs," Lyn Bugg said.

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    Tags:
    gorilla, mother, cute, milk, animal, baby, zoo, Christmas, Bristol, United Kingdom
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