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Longleat's Alf goes ape for autumn acorns
1:23pm Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in Latest News
Alf, one of the lowland gorillas at Longleat, has been lured to scale new heights in pursuit of autumnal treats.
The great ape ventured out on the barest of branches to grab a taste of acorns growing on trees in the gorilla colony at the popular Wiltshire safari and adventure park.
Brother Evindi, though, has not been so brave and has remained firmly rooted to the ground.
Alf and Evindi, along with fellow sibling Kesho, are part of a bachelor group of gorillas at the Safari Park who live in a spacious enclosure alongside a lake.
Keeper Mark Tye said: “Alf has always been the more adventurous of the brothers and he also seems to be the most fearless.
“We’re not entirely sure why he felt the need to climb up quite so high to collect the acorns as there were plenty lying on the ground but perhaps he was looking for a bit of peace and quiet and knew the others weren’t going to join him.
“Although the branches look quite delicate, Alf is a very smart gorilla and he carefully tested them before venturing out along them,” he added.
All three brothers, who were born at Dublin Zoo, were reunited for the first time in 2010 to form the new bachelor colony at Longleat.
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 apparatus.