• Smithsonian National Zoo celebrates baby gorilla's birth

    By: Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    WASHINGTON -

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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