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Gorilla Island

Gorilla Island is home to seven western lowland gorillas: Salome, Romina, Jock, Namoki, Kera, Komale and baby Kukena.

Bristol Zoo's family of gorillas have an innovative new gorilla house

The £1million re-development of the gorilla house has more than doubled the size of the exhibit for our growing family of gorillas and added a mind blowing 180 degree guest viewing area of these seven magnificent animals!Gorilla house at Bristol Zoo

Using heavy duty toughened glass, 32 stone silverback male gorilla Jock and the rest of the gorilla family are able to move above the heads of guests.

Come along to see the gorillas at Bristol Zoo and immerse yourself in this unique, close up experience which is the only one of its kind in Europe!

At Bristol Zoo Gardens, we support conservation work to protect gorillas in the wild in Cameroon. We provide vital funds for Ape Action Africa (formerly CWAF) to help support a rescue centre and provide education on important conservation issues. We hope to raise more money for the project by increasing awareness of its work among the many visitors who come to see our gorillas.

Salome, female, born July 1976
Salome has a very buxom figure! When she first arrived she weighed 154kg but now, although she still needs to work out a bit, she’s down to 125kg. Salome has a lovely nature, but is very strong-minded and incredibly intelligent. You will often see her sitting on her own, planning her next move – which is generally how to get the next piece of food.

Romina, female, born April 1980
Romina has brown-grey hair on her back – not silver like Jock. She weighs 110kg, which is perfect for a fully-grown female gorilla. She had cataracts removed from her eyes in 2002, which improved her quality of life significantly, and had her first baby, Namoki, in 2005. She is a very caring mother.

Kera, female, born August 2004
Kera arrived here in September 2008, from a specialist ape nursery in Germany, where she had been hand-reared while living alongside other young gorillas. At the age of four, Kera was old enough to leave the nursery and the search began for a new home for her. We were chosen as the best place because we have the facilities to support an expanding group of gorillas.

Jock, male, born May 1985
Jock weighs 220kg (about 34 stone!), is all muscle and stands over 1.8m (6ft) tall when on his back legs. Despite his impressive size, Jock is a gentle giant who still loves to drink his juice from his keepers out of a bottle. Jock has fathered two youngsters with Salome and Romina: Namoki and Komale.

Namoki, female, born May 2005
Namoki has a strong part to play in everyday life for the gorilla family. Namoki is always playing with the other gorillas especially Komale, the other youngster. Over the next few years, Namoki will spend time learning and developing her gorilla etiquette.

Komale, male, born December 2006
Although Komale may be small, he has an amazing grip and is able to hold on to his mother, Salome, with great ease. He was very dependent on Salome for the first three years of his life, but has now become more independent and enjoys joining Namoki to cause trouble. Komale is full of personality and is the apple of Salome’s eye.

Kukena, born 27th September 2011.

Kukena is the baby of our gorilla family. He is the son of Jock and Salome, our eldest female. Kukena is a happy, sociable young gorilla and loves exploring his surroundings and playing with other members of the group. He doesn’t like to sit still for too long! He’s integrating well with the group and eating more solid food every day.  Kukena is growing fast and now weights about 20kg. However, like all young gorillas, when he’s tired he likes nothing better than a cuddle with his mum.


 

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Find out how our sister organisation BCSF help to protect primates in Cameroon

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