Scottish Daily Mail
Mum, don’t ever let me go!
CONTENTEDLY snuggling up to its mother, this newborn gorilla looks like it never wants to leave her loving embrace.
If the baby seems a little sleepy that’s because it was born only five days ago and probably weighs just 4lb.
It means keepers at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire haven’t yet been able to determine its sex or give it a name.
And for the time being its mother Ozala won’t be letting go of her baby. The 16-stone specimen certainly had a steely glint in her eye as she sat in her enclosure, gently cradling her baby and enjoying some snacks.
The baby could one day grow up to be even more imposing than mum. Male western lowland gorillas can hit 20-stone or more.
The birth is an important addition to the critically endangered species, originally from Cameroon in the west central Africa region. There are only 100,000 left in the wild, residing in dense rainforests and swamps, and scientists predict they could become extinct in the next 20 years. The zoo is part of a successful primate breeding programme, in which 22-year-old Ozala has previously had two babies with mate Oumbi, 24.
Dr Charlotte Macdonald, director of life sciences at Twycross Zoo, said: ‘Ozala is a resourceful, stern and protective mother and is the one who makes sure her babies behave.’