Brother Evindi looks on from the safety of the ground as Alf goes in search of acorns at  Longleat Safari& Adventure Park PIC Ian TurnerFor Alf, the lowland gorilla, the lure of a horde of autumnal acorns proved irresistible – even if it did involve venturing out on the barest of branches.

The great ape fearlessly scaled new heights as he went in search of the seasonal treats at Longleat Safari& Adventure Park in Wiltshire – much to the apparent consternation of his brother Evindi, who remained firmly rooted to the ground.

Brothers 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.

Alf reaches out to pick an acorn at  Longleat Safari& Adventure Park PIC Ian Turner“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.

Alf the gorilla enjoys an acorn on a branch at  Longleat Safari& Adventure Park PIC Ian Turner

Photos by Ian Turner.

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