The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. is celebrating a new arrival that was almost a decade in the making.
Calaya, a western lowland gorilla, had a baby boy Sunday evening.
The Smithsonian made the birth announcement on its social media platforms Monday morning, WRC reported, and the video of mama caring for her baby boy is going viral.
❤️🦍 We're thrilled to share western lowland gorilla Calaya gave birth to a male at 6:25 p.m. 4/15. His name, Moke, means “junior” or “little one” in the Lingala language. Keepers report that Calaya has been caring for her infant & are optimistic he will thrive. #GorillaStory pic.twitter.com/qeoJgw57gi— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) April 16, 2018
The zoo has named the baby Moke, which means junior or little one in Lingala language.
Zoo officials said on Twitter that mom and baby are bonding and that she is cradling and caring for her new arrival. They told WJLA that they are hopeful that he will do OK.
🦍 Gorillas Calaya & Moke are bonding in the Great Ape House. Mom is providing excellent care, nursing & cradling Moke closely. Baraka, Mandara & Kibibi are very interested in Moke! #GorillaStory pic.twitter.com/uhSPbnvJS5— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) April 16, 2018
Moke, pronounced mo-KEY, is the first gorilla birth at the zoo in nine years, WRC reported. Meredith Bastian, the zoo’s curator of primates at the Conservation Biology Institute, told WRC Moke is "very special and significant, not only to our zoo family but also to this critically endangered species as a whole." The western lowland gorilla is considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.