Western lowland gorilla born at Smithsonian Zoo, mom showers him with kisses

Primate staff at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute are celebrating the firs birth of a male western lowland gorilla in nine years

A male western lowland gorilla has been born at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in the United States.

The Smithsonian National Zoo's 15-year-old gorilla Calaya has welcomed her first son into the world. "Primate keepers are happy to report that Calaya has been caring for her infant and are optimistic he will thrive". Baby gorilla Moke was born Sunday night at the zoo at 6:25 p.m.

Zoo curators say these gorillas are critically endangered. The Great Ape House is closed to give Calaya quiet time to bond with her baby. Because the team trained Calaya to participate voluntarily in ultrasounds, they have been able to monitor fetal growth and development throughout the pregnancy.

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The zoo has released a sweet video showing new mom 15-year-old Calaya, kissing and lovingly holding her baby.

Staff taught Calaya breastfeeding techniques while she was pregnant. "Doing so required great patience and dedication on the part of my team, and I am very proud of them and Calaya", Bastian said.

Uplifting footage has emerged of a western lowland gorilla cradling her newborn baby and kissing its head.

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It was the first time in nine years a gorilla has given birth at the zoo with officials capturing the moment on film and sharing it on social media and their website.

'I am excited to see how will will fit into the group dynamic.

The endangered lowland gorilla species lost about 60 percent of its population over the past two and a half decades for several reasons including poaching and disease. There are a lot of different personalities in this family troop, but they all work together'.

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