Roll: Western lowland gorilla, Calaya, giving birth

Natural instinct and a mother's love: Western lowland gorilla showers smooches on newborn at Smithsonian's National

Western Lowland Gorilla Calaya gave birth to Moke on Sunday (local time) at Washington's Smithsonian National Zoo after being bred with fellow gorilla Baraka in 2017.

The baby gorilla's name is "Moke", which means "Junior" or "Little One" in Lingala.

'Doing so required great patience and dedication on the part of my team, and I am very proud of them and Calaya'.

The Great Ape House is closed to provide Calaya a quiet space to bond with her infant.

She then gently kisses Moke several times while admiring him and holding the baby close before laying him down to rest inside the enclosure.

Calaya was taught to urinate on command to allow hormone analysis and to manipulate her breasts to assess lactation and allow nutrient evaluations.

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Mom, meanwhile, has been busy caring for her new baby. Brown also trained Calaya to present her chest so keepers could place the plush gorilla up to her breast to “nurse.”.

'I am excited to see how he will fit into the group dynamic. Silverback brothers, Kwame and Kojo, live together in a bachelor troop. Throughout her pregnancy, which lasted roughly nine months, Calaya received ultrasounds, hormone testing, and learned how to prepare her breasts for lactation.

Native to Central African Republic, Cameroon, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the lowland gorilla species adds one more to its dwindling number, and hopefully through conservation and other efforts, these creatures will thrive in the coming decades. They are considered a critically endangered species according to the Smithsonian.

Because they live deep in remote and heavily forested areas, it is hard to estimate the total numbers of gorillas in the wild.

Mother Calaya cradles new arrival Moke after he was born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., on April 15, 2018.

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