Gorillas go ape for Xmas gifts at Longleat near Frome
By Fromereporter | Monday, December 17, 2012, 08:43
Christmas came early for a group of gorillas at Longleat Safari &
Kesho the Gorilla Sneaks a Peak Inside His Present at Longleat Safari and Adventure Park's near Frome
Rhesus Monkeys Hoping Santa Will Pay Them a Visit to Longleat near Frome
Kesho the Gorilla Collects His Xmas Presents at Longleat Safari and Adventure Park near Frome
Adventure Park when they were presented with a sackful of festive
Brothers Alf, Evindi and Kesho were fascinated by the brightly wrapped
gifts and carefully tore holes in the Christmas paper to try and see
what was inside.
Each of the parcels contained a selection of their favourite fruits and
vegetables and it didn't take long for the huge Western lowland gorillas
to tear off the paper and get to the treats inside.
Longleat's deputy head keeper Ian Turner said: "The gorillas were really
interested in the wrapping paper and spent several minutes looking at
it and carefully inspecting each of the presents before taking off the
"It's always amazing to see just how gentle these hugely powerful apes
can be and to admire their dexterity as they tore back little bits of
the wrapping to get a peek at what was inside," he added.
All three brothers, who were born at Dublin Zoo, were reunited for the
first time earlier this year to form the new bachelor colony at
Featuring more than a dozen mature trees in an extensive outdoor grassed
area, the spacious gorilla enclosure overlooks Longleat's Half Mile
Lake and utilises natural boundaries wherever possible without the
barriers of bars or glass.
In addition to the existing trees, keepers have installed a selection of
outdoor climbing logs and frames. The gorillas also share a large
indoor shelter with a communal area featuring ropes, swings and climbing
And it wasn't just the great apes who enjoyed some early festive spirit.
Longleat colony of mischievous rhesus monkeys also got in on the act
when they were given Xmas gifts of their own – keepers even provided
them with signs reminding Santa not to miss them out on Christmas Eve.