Video - Offbeat: Eight-month-old gorilla meets 36-year-old female at zoo

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The infant, who has been raised behind-the-scenes since birth, took the huge step in meeting the Zoo’s 36-year-old female, Romina, while her keepers watched on.

According to keepers, who have been monitoring closely, the pair are getting on well and are now spending 24-hours a day together.

It is a huge feat for the Zoo’s gorilla keepers who have dedicated their time to caring for Afia since her birth in February this year.

Bristol Zoo’s Curator of Mammals, Lynsey Bugg, said: “Since day one of Afia’s hand rearing, we have been planning on introducing Afia into the group within her first year to avoid imprinting and a lack of knowledge of gorilla-specific behaviour later in life.

“We had strong indications that both Romina and Afia were ready – Afia was physically and mentally strong enough and Romina was enjoying watching her through the mesh.