Bristol Zoo gorillas get $1.6M home upgrade and a pool

Lindsay Jolivet
Daily Buzz

The western lowland gorilla family at the Bristol Zoo in the United Kingdom is climbing the social ladder of the primate world with a spacious new home featuring an indoor pool and a glass entrance.

Jock, a 30-year-old silverback, and his six other family members, including 2-year-old Kukena, lived in the enclosure while builders expanded it to double the size of their old gorilla house, according to a release from the Bristol Zoo.

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Building a house in the company of a 448 pound gorilla is complicated, the zoo wrote in a release, and at first the animals were nervous but they relaxed and began to watch their new human companions after a couple of weeks.

The zoo uploaded a video of one of the gorillas spinning merrily in the new house while clinging to a rope.

The new enclosure is worth more than $1.6 million and the glass atrium is great for roly polys, young Kukena has discovered.

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Zoo staff told the BBC they wanted to give the growing gorilla family "first class" accommodations, paid for in part by an auction of painted gorilla statues. The public can view the gorillas in their new home starting on Saturday and more renovations will take place until 2014.