Bristol Zoo's baby gorilla is named Kukena, meaning 'to love'
THE new baby gorilla at Bristol Zoo has been given a name.
The baby western lowland gorilla was born to mother Salome last week at the zoo and has now been named Kukena.
EastEnders actress Nina Wadia, who plays Zainab Masood in the soap, picked the name – pronounced Kookenga and meaning 'to love' – from a list submitted to BBC1's The One Show by viewers.
The name comes from the language of the Lunda tribe, from North West Zambia.
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The tribe originates from the Congo, where western lowland gorillas are found in the wild.
Senior curator of animals John Partridge said: "Salome and Kukena continue to do well.
"Kukena is bright-eyed and alert and we have observed the baby suckling well on numerous occasions, which is a very good sign.
"It is still too early to determine the sex of the baby as Salome keeps it very close and we are keen to give the gorillas space.
"Therefore we wanted a unisex name that would suit either a baby boy or girl, and Kukena has a lovely meaning.
"Salome continues to demonstrate good mothering behaviour and it is lovely to see her cradling and cuddling her baby affectionately.
"Naturally the gorilla keepers will keep a very close eye on mother and baby in these crucial first few weeks to ensure that they, along with the rest of the gorilla group, are healthy, content and bonding well."