Joshi the gorilla moves from Kent to the Congo to save species from extinction

ITV News Reporter Faye Barker reports on the 13-year-old gorilla Joshi who is now finding a new life in Africa

A 30-stone gorilla who was born and raised in Kent has arrived in the wilderness of central Africa on a mission to save his species.

The 13-year-old gorilla, called Joshi, was born and raised at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent.

But he has now endured a long journey to live in the Republic of Congo in the Lesio-Louna Nature ​Reserve.

Joshi has moved as part of the park's initiative with an animal conservation charity, The Aspinall Foundation - to return rare animals back to their natural habitats.

Joshi was born and raised at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent.

Western lowland gorillas are ranked as critically endangered on the international red list of threatened species, and their numbers have dropped by an estimated 60% in the past 25 years.

Amos Courage, who is the Overseas Project Director at The Aspinall Foundation, told ITV News: "We're restoring natural habitats and also hopefully just giving them a better chance of living out lives they should lead."

"I have a bit of trepidation because I know about Joshi and he is a sweet natured gorilla and I'm hopeful that he can fulfil his promise and live a life in a wild, that's always been a reason why we do this."

Joshi has had to slowly acclimatise in the Congo.

Joshi has travelled thousands of miles to make his new home in the Congo - and will soon be living wild and free in the forests.

Although his ancestral home, it's all new to him.

He's had to slowly acclimatise - and in recent weeks has met two younger orphaned males, who will teach him the ropes on a safe island.

In another year or so they will all move again to finally integrate with others in the wild.