A male western lowland gorilla has been born at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in the United States. He was born at 6:25 p.m. April 15 and is named Moke [Mo-KEY], which means "junior" or "little one" in the Lingala language.
A U.S. zoo has welcomed the birth of a male western lowland gorilla this week, a breed listed as critically endangered due to disease and poaching.
Had Calaya been unable to care for Moke, the zoo had a foster gorilla mother in place to look after him.More news: WaPo/ABC Poll: Democrat advantage on voter preferences and enthusiasm shrinks
Meredith Bastian, curator of primates at the zoo, said the birth holds special significance to both their zoo family and to the critically endangered species as a whole.
They also prepared Calaya for motherhood by showing her photos of mother gorillas and giving her a plush gorilla toy to touch, kiss and practice nursing. Luckily, the pregnancy process for western lowland gorillas is not so different from their human cousins.
Moke is listed as critically endangered due to disease and poaching.More news: Commonwealth Games organizers under fire for closing ceremony
Her mother, Calaya, is a familiar name to Washington. "Doing so required great patience and dedication on the part of my team, and I am very proud of them and Calaya".
She then gently kisses Moke several times while admiring him and holding the baby close before laying him down to rest inside the enclosure. In general, gorilla babies weigh about four pounds when they are born.
The Smithsonian's five-gorilla troop is now made up of Moke, Calaya, 26-year-old father Baraka, another adult female called Mandara and a sub-adult female called Kibibi.More news: Ed Sheeran tipped for cameo in Danny Boyle film
Western lowlands live in central African countries including the Republic of the Congo, DRC, Cameroon and Gabon.