New home plans for Bristol gorillas

The family of gorillas at Bristol Zoo Gardens are set to benefit from a £1 million project to transform and enlarge their enclosure.

Work will get underway soon to refurbish and extend the existing enclosure to provide more than double the amount of space for the Zoo’s growing family of western lowland gorillas. The new enclosure will include climbing facilities, ropes and play equipment and an indoor pool. There will also be additional ‘dens’ for the gorillas and weighing scales built into the floor. Improved speaker systems will also allow greater communication between keepers and our guests.

The improved house will offer a new atrium-style glass entrance lobby for zoo guests, offering enhanced indoor viewing of the gorillas and a host of new educational and interactive displays. John Partridge, Senior Curator of Animals at Bristol Zoo, said:

The refurbished gorilla house will offer an exciting, bigger space for the gorillas and will give our keepers and veterinary staff much greater flexibility in their day-to-day management and care of the group. This will, in turn, further improve the level of care and welfare we give our gorillas and will allow us to house a greater number of them in future. We have a growing gorilla family at Bristol Zoo, most recently with the birth of baby Kukeña in September 2011, and we would like the family to grow even more in the future. To do this, we want the indoor accommodation to be the best it possibly can be, so we are expanding the indoor gorilla enclosure, taking over the whole Grade II listed building which, until recently, also housed the Zoo’s okapis.”

Bristol Zoo has teamed up with online property search engine Rightmove to ‘list’ the gorilla house on their website in a light-hearted campaign to raise awareness and funds for the gorilla house build.

If you would like to donate to Bristol Zoo’s gorilla house project, you can Text ‘ZOO APE £5’ to 70444 to donate £5 (plus your operator’s standard network charge). Don’t forget to obtain the bill payer’s permission. You can also donate online at, by post or in person at the Zoo.