Bristol Zoo's baby gorilla has a new name - and it means handsome

The poll to name the little gorilla reached almost 100,000 people. Credit: Bristol Zoo/Jordan Jones

Bristol's youngest gorilla now has a new name of Hasani after an online public vote.

It means ‘handsome’ in Swahili and was one of the four names visitors could choose from.

The Western Lowland gorilla is being hand-reared by keepers after his mother struggled to feed him.

The three-month-old now weighs 4.48kg (9.9lbs) and has started teething with his first four teeth coming through.  


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Hasani is being fed formula milk every three hours. The keepers are still looking after the infant in their accommodation overnight but regularly care for him in the Gorilla house during the day.

This is to allow plenty of opportunities for his mother Kala and the other Gorillas to see and smell him and for the rest of the group to accept him when he returns to the rest of the troop in a few months time.

He is very playful and is already proving to have a lovely temperament

Lynsey Bugg, Mammals Curator at Bristol Zoo

Lynsey Bugg, mammals curator at Bristol Zoo Gardens, said: “Hasani continues to do very well, we are really pleased with his progress. His coordination is improving and he is getting stronger.” 

“We are doing lots of work to encourage development of his mobility and strength, such as helping him to scoot, roll over and pull himself up. We encourage a lot of learning through play  ̶  it’s immensely rewarding to see him developing in the way an infant gorilla should.”

Hasani the infant gorilla being hand-reared at Bristol Zoo Credit: Bristol Zoo / Jordan Jones

Keepers are training Hasani to be like a gorilla, by getting him to hold on tight and making gorilla noises to make reintroduction into the group as easy as possible.

She added: “It’s really important for him that he remains a familiar member of the group, as well as being used to all the sounds, sights and smells of the gorillas.”

Bristol Zoo has been looking after gorillas since 1930 Credit: Bristol Zoo