Starting to explore the world under watchful eye of mum
BRISTOL Zoo's baby western lowland gorilla is starting to find his feet as he learns to walk.
Little Kukeña is still tiny and has not left his mother's side in the seven months since he was born. But now he has started taking his first tentative steps and is growing in confidence. Although still very wobbly, Kukeña can pull himself up onto his back legs and can walk on all fours, under the watchful eye of mum Salome. Mammal keeper Alan Toyne said: "Kukeña is making fantastic progress and is developing well. It's great to see him starting to walk and becoming more independent, although he will be reliant on mum for a long while yet.
"He is getting more and more active but still stays very close to Salome who is still very protective, particularly when the other gorillas are around. She will let him venture a few metres away from her when they are alone, but keeps him much closer when the other young gorillas are around as they tend to like a bit of rough and tumble."
Kukeña is also starting to nibble on soft foods such as banana.
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As well as Salome and Kukeña, Bristol Zoo's Gorilla Island is also home to silverback Jock, who is father to Kukeña; Namoki, six; Komale, five; Kera; seven and Romina, the zoo's other adult female gorilla.
The name Kukeña means "to love" and comes from the language of the Lunda Tribe from North West Zambia. The tribe originates from the Congo, where western lowland gorillas are found in the wild.