Gorilla born at Smithsonian National Zoo

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

Moke, which means "little one" in the Lingala language, is the first male western lowland gorilla born at that zoo in almost a decade, according to a Smithsonian Magazine report.

The baby gorilla's name is Moke (Mo-KEY), which means "junior" or "little one" in the Lingala language. She was on birth control pills when she first arrived at the zoo three years ago, according to the Washington Post.

Calaya is a 15-year-old gorilla while Moke's father is a 26-year-old called Baraka.

The extremely caring mother is seen in video footage holding onto her baby while keeping a locked gaze on him.

Calaya's maternal instinct was clear to see with her newborn Moke (Picture: Smithsonian)'This infant's arrival triggers many emotions-joy, excitement, relief-and pride that all of our perseverance in preparing Calaya for motherhood has paid off.

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Animal care staff are keeping a close eye on how Calaya nurses the infant, who has been photographed clinging closely to his mother since the birth. "We will provide support to her if need be, but I have every confidence that Calaya will be a great mom to Moke".

Had Calaya been unable to care for Moke, the zoo had a foster gorilla mother in place to look after him. However, Calaya and Moke will be on exhibit if the youngster continues to thrive. "Doing so required great patience and dedication on the part of my team, and I am very proud of them and Calaya", Bastian said.

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

Their numbers are estimated to have declined by over 60 percent during the last 20-25 years and despite vast conservation efforts they remain listed as "critically endangered" by the World Wildlife organisation.

Western lowlands live in central African countries including the Republic of the Congo, DRC, Cameroon and Gabon.

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