Don't do that mother, it makes me go ape! Baby gorilla's playful parent can't help tickling her newborn as it snuggles up in her arms


Doting: Shanga gives her newborn baby a cheeky little tickle

This newborn gorilla is getting a little tickle from his playful mother who just can't help monkeying around.
The two-week-old appeared almost human-like as it snuggled up under its doting mother’s arm at Chessington World of Adventures Resort.
The baby is the first for female gorilla Shanga, but she seems to be taking to parenthood like a natural.

Nap time: First-time mother gorilla Shanga cradles her newborn baby at Chessington World of Adventures

As these pictures show, she is the picture of gentleness with her tiny offspring as it plays in the straw.
The happy baby already has an impressive repertoire of faces, including sticking out its tongue as it rolls on the floor.
One shot shows the infant staring adoringly into its mother’s eyes, while in other Shanga cradles her child carefully in her arms during feeding time.

Hello, smiler! The two-week-old looked the picture of contentment as it chilled out with its mother

Hold on tight: The youngster keeps a firm grip on its mother while she catches up on her own sleep

The baby, whose gender is yet to be determined, is the second Western Lowland Gorilla to be born this year at Chessington, in Surrey, as part of their breeding programme.
The species is known to reproduce slowly, with females giving birth only once every five years.
So keepers were delighted when this baby turned up two weeks ago, only five months after the first baby, which was named Mwana.
The youngster has been quickly accepted into the group, which is headed by 14-year-old silverback Damisi, the only breeding male at the Zoo.

Tender scenes: The two-week-old appeared almost human-like as it snuggled up under its doting mother's arm

He is being cared for by his mum, Shanga, but his grandmother, Shani, is also lending a helping hand.
James Mackie, Gorilla Keeper at Chessington Zoo, said: 'We’re absolutely delighted to be welcoming another young gorilla into the group.
'Shanga is new to motherhood, so it’s been touching to see how helpful and protective her own mother has been since the birth.

'This is the third baby that’s been fathered by our stud gorilla, Damisi, after he was introduced in 2008, and the second this year.
'The Western Lowland gorilla is a vulnerable species which reproduces slowly.
'Females tend to produce only one baby every five years on average, so for Chessington to have welcomed two babies this year really is cause for celebration.
'We expect we’ll have plenty of visitors eager to catch a glimpse of the newborn.'

Feeding time: While Shanga will do most of the parenting, she is also receiving a helping hand from her own mother

Chessington has a total of 11 gorillas - five males and six females - and is one of the few zoos to house three generations from the same family.
The animals are divided into two groups, each with a dominant silverback.
The first group is headed by Kumba, who weighs a staggering 35 stone. He shares his enclosure with Bafia, Kumili and Kumi.
Damisi is head of the second group, which includes Asili, who gave birth to the first baby this year, along with Buu and her son Mbula, Shani and Shanga.

source: dailymail