By Aimee Braniff Cree

 

**WITH FULL PERMISSIONS**

 

BEAUTIFUL IMAGES show the proud mother gorilla at London Zoo holding her weeks-old newborn like a rugby ball.

 

Images show Western Lowland gorilla Effie, cradling her unnamed baby who the zoo is not yet able to confirm the sex of as mum keeps her bundle of joy so close to her chest.

 

Western Lowland Gorillas are a critically endangered species so this birth is a miracle for the zoo.

 

These precious images were captured by photographer Chris Ballard (27) from Reading, United Kingdom.

 

Chris captured the perfect primates in London Zoo, England on his Nikon D810 DSLR with a Sigma 150-600mm telephoto lens.

 

“We’re thrilled to welcome a second critically endangered western lowland gorilla baby, less than a month after the arrival of another.,” said London Zoo.

 

“The infant, an important addition to the endangered species breeding programme, was born at the conservation zoo to mum Effie at 7:44pm on Thursday 8 February, just three and half weeks after Mjukuu had her baby. “

“This is not a typical sight as they had been inside for a few weeks off show,” said Chris.

 

“Both mum’s are now taking the babies outside away from the den.

 

“This was a beautiful sight to see as I had not seen baby gorillas at London Zoo in over a decade and the Western Lowland Gorilla population is critically endangered.

“My favourite shot of the collection is of mother Effie presenting her baby to the camera while it clings on fast asleep.

 

“I love capturing the early bonds of mothers and babies in wildlife.

 

“You can see how gentle and graceful they are despite their huge size.”

 

ENDS