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National Zoo Welcomes Birth of Critically Endangered Baby Gorilla

D.C. has a tiny new arrival!A newborn gorilla made his arrival Sunday, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo has announced.Calaya, one of the zoo’s western lowland gorillas, gave birth to a boy at 6:25 p.m. Sunday, zoo officials announced on Facebook and Twitter on Monday morning. 3 Wallaby Joeys Make Darling Debut at San Diego Zoo Safari Park She has been taking care of her newborn, and keepers said they’re optimistic he will thrive. The baby’s name, Moke, means “junior” or “little one” in Lingala, the zoo said. His name is pronounced mo-KEY. ‘Truly Alarming’: No Babies for Endangered Right Whales Meredith Bastian, curator of primates at the zoo’s Conservation Biology Institute called the gorilla’s birth — the first in nine years — “very special and significant, not only to our zoo family but also to this critically endangered species as a whole.” The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the western lowland gorilla as critically endangered.  Hawks Are Dive-Bombing, Clawing People’s Heads in CT: Police Calaya, a first-time mom, was expected to give birth any time from early April to early May, the zoo previously said. She had been resting more during the day, and keepers had given her with extra fleece blankets.As they awaited the birth, keepers maintained the zoo’s six gorillas’ normal routines as much as they could.Still, the pregnancy shifted their behaviors and dynamics, they said. Calaya was more relaxed and passive despite usually being the dominant female in the zoo’s group of six gorillas, keepers said. The baby’s father, Baraka, an older 400-pound gorilla, became more gentle toward Calaya during disputes between the female gorillas.The gorilla troop was still cohesive with strong relationships, primate keeper Melba Brown previously said, calling it “the perfect environment for a successful birth.”Photo Credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.
Source: NBC San Diego

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