Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Gorilla cradles, kisses her newborn in heartwarming video

Gorilla cradles, kisses her newborn in heartwarming video

The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute said it was the first time in nine years an infant had been born there.

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.

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

Moke is listed as critically endangered due to disease and poaching.

The Great Ape House is now closed to give Calaya and Moke privacy to bond without interference from zoo staff or visitors.

Since Calaya's pregnancy was confirmed using a standard human pregnancy test in fall 2017, staff have been getting ready for Moke's arrival.

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Mum Calaya welcomes Moke into the worldSmithsonian's National ZooCalaya initially cradles her new-born sonSmithsonian's National ZooJust one kiss isn't enough for adoring mum CalayaSmithsonian's National ZooAnd another...

'The primate team's goal was to set Calaya up for success as best we could, given that she is a first-time mother.

The Great Ape House was closed on Monday to accommodate the new mama and her baby.

Her mother, Calaya, is a familiar name to Washington. There are a lot of different personalities in this family troop, but they all work well together'.

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.

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