10/12/2014

Bristol Zoo’s gorilla comes of age and gets ready to say farewell

​Western lowland gorilla Namoki is getting ready to bid Bristol Zoo farewell, before she moves to Belfast Zoo

At nine years old, Namoki is mature enough to have babies of her own. As she is related to the male gorillas at Bristol Zoo, the time has come for her to move on and be introduced to another gorilla family.

Western lowland gorilla Namoki is getting ready to bid Bristol Zoo farewell, before she moves to Belfast Zoo, where they hope she will start her own family.

At nine years old, Namoki is mature enough to have babies of her own. As she is related to the male gorillas at Bristol Zoo, the time has come for her to move on and be introduced to another gorilla family.

Namoki will depart for Ireland on October 14th and will be joined on her travels by the Zoo’s assistant curator of mammals, Lynsey Bugg, who has looked after Namoki since the day she was born. Lynsey will stay with Namoki in Belfast for a few days to help her settle in.

Lynsey said: “This is a very exciting time for Namoki, who is about to embrace the next chapter of her life as an adult gorilla. The process of introducing Namoki to another group of gorillas will be a sensitive one and the Belfast Zoo keepers and I will be keeping a close eye on her and monitoring her interaction with the rest of the group.”

Namoki was born at Bristol Zoo in 2005 and is the daughter of Romina and 32 stone silver back Jock. The confident adolescent is very much a daddy’s girl and keepers are sure she’ll have no trouble charming the male gorilla at Belfast Zoo.

Lynsey added: “Namoki worked out how to get her own way with Jock from a very young age. If she adopts the same charm with the male gorilla at Belfast Zoo, I have no doubt she’ll be very popular.”

Each of the gorillas has their own distinctive personality and the keepers at Bristol Zoo are particularly proud of how Namoki has matured over the years.

“Namoki looks up to the other female gorillas in the group and has hopefully developed a sense of how to be an adult female gorilla and how to raise a family,” said Lynsey.

There are as little as between 90,000 and 110,000 Western lowland gorillas in the wild, which is why it is so vitally important this species continues to breed.

Many gorillas are killed for the 'bush meat' trade, where animals are shot by hunters and the meat sold to traders in towns and cities. The ebola virus is also causing problems for the remaining populations.Because of poaching and disease, the number of gorillas has declined by more than 60% over the last 20 to 25 years.

Bristol Zoo is calling all guests to share their memories of Namoki, in the form of photos and anecdotes, during her time in Bristol. The public will be able to come and see Namoki and wave her off until 13th October.

Photo credit: Peter Budd

tickets.png

Book online & save up to 29% on your admission tickets

Buy Now

Book online & save up to 29% on your admission tickets