SAN ANTONIO – There’s a new member of the family at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
A western lowland baby gorilla was born at 6:25 p.m. Sunday and named Moke, pronounced Mo-KEY, meaning junior in the Lingala language, according to the zoo’s website.
The baby was born to Calaya, a 15-year--old gorilla, and Baraka, who is 26.
“The birth of this western lowland gorilla is very special and significant, not only to our zoo family but also to this critically endangered species as a whole,” said Meredith Bastian, curator of primates.
Zookeepers are keeping their distance to avoid interfering while Calaya bonds to her baby.
“We will provide support to her if need be, but I have every confidence that Calaya will be a great mom to Moke,” animal keeper Melba Brown said.
See video of the mother and baby gorilla below:
Western Lowland Gorilla Calaya Gives Birth to Male
❤️🦍 Welcome, little one! We are thrilled to share that western lowland gorilla Calaya gave birth to a male at 6:25 p.m. yesterday. His name, Moke [pronounced mo-KEY], means “junior” or “little one” in the Lingala language. Primate keepers are happy to report that Calaya has been caring for her infant and are optimistic he will thrive. #GorillaStory #WeSaveSpecies Learn more: https://s.si.edu/2JQE8U7.Posted by Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Monday, April 16, 2018