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Christmas comes early for Bristol Zoo's gorillas

Bristol Zoo’s six gorillas have received their own stockings, full of their favourite vegetables, to celebrate the festive season.

Potatoes and apples for this youngster. Credit: Bristol Zoo

"As well as being a form of enrichment for our gorillas, to stimulate their naturally inquisitive and playful behaviour, each one of the six stockings represents a 10% decline in western lowland gorilla numbers in the wild in the last 20 years, equating to a devastating 60% in the last two decades."

– Lynsey Bugg, Assistant Curator of Mammals at Bristol Zoo
The male silverback got involved too. Credit: Bristol Zoo

Whilst the Zoo’s gorillas may be enjoying treats this Christmas, their critically endangered cousins in Cameroon are increasingly facing threats.

Western lowland gorillas are being hunted at a rapid rate. This critically endangered animal is a victim of sustenance hunting in Cameroon.

The species is critically endangered in the wild. Credit: Bristol Zoo

"We have a long term commitment to conserve this species. We are working with local communities in Cameroon to engage them in putting less pressure on the western lowland gorilla population, either through alternative farming practices or rewarding those who expose gorilla hunters.”

– Christoph Schwitzer, Director of Conservation for the Bristol Zoological Society

Christmas getaway begins in Bristol

Bristol Airport is expecting one of its busiest-ever weekends Credit: PA

The big Christmas getaway has started as schools break up and people head off for the festive break.

Bristol Airport is expecting one of its busiest-ever weekends. Twenty thousand passengers will be flying into and out of the terminal on Sunday alone.

On the roads, the AA says Christmas shopping means congestion is likely around Cribbs Causeway. But there's some good news for motorists. The Highways Agency says it's suspending some motorway roadworks.


  1. West Country (W)

Mad Friday: More alcohol to be sold today than on New Year's Eve

Hospitals are braced for a surge in binge drinking Credit: PA

According to Public Health England, more alcohol will be sold in bars and restaurants tonight than on New Year's Eve.

The last Friday before Christmas has become known as Black Friday or Mad Friday because of the large number of office parties taking place. It means police, paramedics and hospitals are braced for a surge in binge drinking and the resulting problems.

Clive Lewis, from Public Health England South West, says "This is the night of the year when there is most likely to be a number of parties and celebrations associated with alcohol. So there will be different responses in different areas but certainly those public services will be planning for this."

A spike in sign-ups to Dry January is also predicted as people start to think about giving their bodies a break in the New Year.

Clive says: “Over 17,000 people took part in Dry January in 2014 and many reported that taking a month-long break from alcohol acted as a reset button concerning their alcohol use for months afterwards, not only helping people to drink less per drinking day but also to drink less frequently.

“As with any commitment to healthier living, people need some time to prepare themselves in advance so that they are in the best position possible to successfully achieve their goal. People who sign up to Dry January will receive the tips, ideas and encouragement to stay motivated and make the most of their month off alcohol.”

To sign up for Alcohol Concern’s Dry January and register for tips and tools to make the most of the month, people should visit

House prices in Bristol rising at faster rate than London

Houses in Bristol are now worth an average of £218,600 Credit: ITV News

House prices in Bristol have grown at a faster rate than those in London in recent months, property analyst Hometrack has reported.

London property prices increased by 0.5% in the three months to November.

But property values in Bristol recorded a 0.6% uplift for the same period.

Homes in Bristol are now worth £218,600 typically, having become £26,600 more expensive over the last year.

Fund in memory of mother and baby who fell to their deaths raises £2,500

Charlotte Bevan and her baby died in early December. Credit: ITV News

On the day of the double funeral of Charlotte Bevan and her baby daughter, Zaani, is held at a Bristol church within metres of where they fell to their deaths, it's revealed a fund in their memories has so far raised £2,500.

A collection held on the night of a giant fireworks display to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Clifton Suspension Bridge raised £1,800. Further money was been pledged through an online donation page.

A site set up to raise money for the Bristol postnatal depression charity Mothers for Mothers has collected £960.

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