Animals

Bristol Zoo gorillas move to new woodland home | Zoos

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Nearly a century after the first gorilla at Bristol Zoo – a young man named Alfred – reached massive excitement, his successors are set to move to a new home in the woods on the edge of town.

As part of the zoo’s relocation from its long-term habitat in Clifton, a troop of eight gorillas will be formed in the “Central African Forest District,” living alongside a group of cherry-crowned Mongabe monkeys and the endangered African Gray Parrots.

The rare, slim-nosed crocodiles will also be introduced to the “immersive forest fair” – which is separated from gorillas and apes.

Although it won’t please those who think animals like gorillas shouldn’t be kept in captivity, it’s a far cry from when Alfred was leading a tour around the zoo on the lead and engaged in snowball fights with visitors.

When Alfred arrived in 1930, there was one more gorilla in a zoo in Europe. Currently, lower western gorillas live in a barn at Bristol Zoos called Gorilla Island, but the idea with the new area is to reflect their natural habitat as closely as possible.

Bristol Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the world, but by 2024 it will have moved from its location in Clifton to an out-of-town location currently occupied by the Wild Place Project.

In addition to the Central African Forest region, which is the breeding center of conservation They will be built to house threatened species of reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, fish and birds. Among them are tortoises and tortoises, blue-spotted tree watchdogs, leaf-tailed henkel geckos, wild Madeiran snails, blue hawksbills, bleeding heart pigeons, and Socorro pigeons that have become extinct in the wild.

The new Bristol Zoo will preserve many of the existing exhibits at Wild Place, such as Bear Wood, where bears, lynxes, wolverines and wolves live together.

Brian Zimmerman, Director of Conservation and Science at the Bristol Zoological Society, said: “The new Bristol Zoo will set the standard for a modern and forward-looking zoo for the 21st century.

“We will lead the way in terms of conservation within the zoo, with at least 78% of our animals having a conservation association when the first phase of development is completed and more than 90% by the bicentennial in 2035.”

Public consultation on plans for the new Bristol Zoo will take place in early February 2022 as more plans will be shared, before a planning application is submitted in the spring.

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