Апреля 21, 2018

Roll: Western lowland gorilla, Calaya, giving birth

17 Апреля 2018, 04:17 | Taylor George

Natural instinct and a mother's love: Western lowland gorilla showers smooches on newborn at Smithsonian's National

Gorilla Calaya cradles her newborn

The Smithsonian National Zoo is celebrating the birth of a western lowland gorilla - the first time a male has been born at the Washington, D.C. zoo in nine years.

Calaya lays her son down in the zoo enclosure at the Washington D.C zoo (Picture: Smithsonian)'Keepers report that Calaya has been caring for her infant & are optimistic he will thrive. Zoo officials say his name means "little one" or "junior" in Lingala, which is a Bantu language.

"The birth of this western lowland gorilla is very special and significant, not only to our Zoo family but also to this critically endangered species as a whole", said Meredith Bastian, curator of primates.

The Smithsonian's five-gorilla troop is now made up of Moke, Calaya, 26-year-old father Baraka, another adult female called Mandara and a sub-adult female called Kibibi. Animal care staff are leaving Calaya to bond with and care for her baby without interference. Over 500 western lowland gorillas are in zoos around the world.

Calaya is a first time mom, and caretakers said she is doing an awesome job, cradling the baby and even breastfeeding.

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Calaya was also shown photos of other mother gorillas and was given a plush gorilla toy to handle.

'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.

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

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.

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