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Baby gorilla turns four

Baby gorilla turns four Credit: Bristol Zoo

Bristol Zoo’s baby gorilla Kukena is about to celebrate his fourth birthday.

Kukena was born on September 27th, 2011 to mum Salome and the troops’ silverback Jock.

Jock and Salome are genetically important gorillas because their genetic lines aren’t highly represented in the European breeding programme for this species and as a result so is their offspring.

Kukena is a lovely cheeky young male. He is full of character and enjoys playing with all members of our group, including the other females we have.

Increasingly over the last year we have also seen him spending more and more time with ‘the boys’ – Jock and Kukena’s older brother Komale, who turns nine years old at the end of the year.

He still shares a nest with mum Salome but he is becoming increasingly independent.

– Lynsey Bugg, assistant curator of mammals at Bristol Zoo
Bristol Zoo’s baby gorilla Kukena Credit: Bristol Zoo


Rare dove born at Bristol Zoo

The bleeding-heart dove chick born at Bristol Zoo is a sign of hope for the threatened species Credit: Bristol Zoo

Bristol Zoo has welcomed the birth of a rare chick.

The Mindanao bleeding-heart dove is native to the Philippines. It is one of many species in the area threatened by the loss of 95% of the country's forests.

Bristol Zoological Society has been working on the islands for two years to stop the decline. It aims to make local people aware of the value of conserving the species and their habitats.

Three endangered yellow-headed day geckos born at Bristol Zoo

Three endangered yellow-headed day geckos have been born at Bristol Zoo.

Due to habitat loss the species has been declining in the wild and as a result they are now classified as an endangered species.

Three endangered yellow-headed day geckos have been born at Bristol Zoo Credit: Bristol Zoo

They are usually found in the tropical rainforest of Madagascar, but these days old tiny trio are adapting to life in a different continent in Bristol Zoo's Reptile House.

They usually live in small groups and spend most of their day basking in the sunshine. If disturbed, however, the lizards will immediately return to their hiding place, usually a small crack in the older or dead bamboo.

The yellow-headed day gecko has distinguishable features, such as a yellow head, a flattened body, a long snout and a turquoise back and tail.

They can reach a total length of 8 to 10 cm, although span just 2.5cm at hatching. They feed on various insects and other invertebrates. They also like to lick soft sweet fruit, pollen and nectar.

Credit: Bristol Zoo

Gorillas pledge their support to Bristol City

Bristol Zoo's gorillas have put their support behind the Robins Credit: ITV News

Gorillas at Bristol Zoo have pledged their support to Bristol City after they were given some new playthings with a football flavour.

They were presented with City kits and banners ahead of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final on Sunday. The Robins are due to play Walsall at Wembley and seem to have some welcome support from the apes.

Bristol Zoo is hit by tragedy

The two pigs pictured in happier times Credit: Bob Pitchford

Bristol Zoo has lost some of its most precious animals after a male warty pig ate his entire critically endangered family - and a rare monkey became lunch for hungry otters.

The two pigs, pictured above in happier times, were found in distressing circumstances when Elvis turned on his piglets and then his own mate.

In another instance, a rare monkey escaped its enclosure and fell into a pond where it was eaten by American otters.

The zoo, which prides itself on its conservation measures, said the deaths have distressed keepers.


Hip hippo hooray! Winnie the pygmy hippo is one today

Winnie will be celebrating her birthday with a special vegetable cake Credit: ITV News

Bristol Zoo is celebrating the first birthday of one of its pygmy hippos.

Winnie weighed just six kilograms when she was just a few weeks old, but she's grown to just over 80 kilograms.

Keepers will be treating her to a special vegetable birthday cake.

Winnie may be a big girl but she's dwarfed by her mum Sirana Credit: ITV News

In pictures: Bristol Zoo takes its annual census

Staff at Bristol Zoo do this every January - and it takes more than a clipboard and pencil. Credit: ITV News

It's a census with a difference - scuba suits and aqualungs alongside the clipboards and pencils.

Yes, staff at Bristol Zoo are conducting their annual census. There are more than 400 species at the zoo and keepers say the population is growing because of successful breeding programmes. But counting the animals isn't always easy. With fish there is no avoiding it -you have to get wet.

Big tanks you can see we do get in those - it's a lot easier to count the animals that way because we can look in all the nooks and crannies.

We need to make sure our records tie up with what we've actually got on our displays. It's very difficult with small animals - we classify them as big groups.

We've got a lot of small fish in big tanks so it's more to do with the breeding. We have a lot of fry coming through that we might miss.

– JONNY RUDD, Aquarium curator, Bristol Zoo
This crab was easy to spot - it is much harder to keep track of other creatures in the aquarium Credit: ITV News
This pufferfish has just one eye after a cataract operation. Credit: ITV News
Some more concerned with eating fish than counting them... Credit: ITV News
Not everyone will stay awake for the big day. Credit: ITV News
The insects can only be estimated - would you enjoy trying to count each one of these? Credit: ITV News
Not a plant: counting coral is quite a challenge. Credit: ITV News

400 species will be counted in Bristol Zoo's animal census

Pygmy hippo Winnie is one of many animals born at Bristol Zoo this year Credit: ITV West Country

Keepers at Bristol Zoo will begin their annual census today. Over 400 species need to be counted.

The animal stock take is done at the start of every year and gives keepers the opportunity to check their computer records are up to date. Staff say 2014 has been a successful year for breeding - including the birth of pygmy hippo Winnie.

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