WATCH: Mama Gorilla Kissing and Cradling Her Newborn Baby Is a Vision of Motherly Love Welcome, 'Little One': Critically Endangered Gorilla Born At National Zoo National Zoo welcomes 'incredible' birth of baby gorilla named Moke National Zoo welcomes 'incredible' birth of baby gorilla Say hello to Moke, the first gorilla born at Smithsonian National Zoo in 9 years

WATCH: Mama Gorilla Kissing and Cradling Her Newborn Baby Is a Vision of Motherly Love

Moke, whose name means "junior" or "little one" in Lingala, a Bantu language spoken in northern parts of Congo, is the first western lowland gorilla born to the National Zoo in nine years

You see, Moke’s mom, a western lowland gorilla called Calaya, gave birth to her very first baby at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., that day. As Moke continues his healthy trajectory, Calaya and son will be on exhibit in the Great Ape House, though some rooms may stay out of view. Here's what happened: "This breakthrough helped Brown bond with Calaya and gain her trust. Sunday when she decided to check on the zoo’s very pregnant western lowland gorilla, Calaya.

She said keepers decided to introduce her to him first. “It was a very smooth introduction,” she said. Your subscription supports journalism that matters. She was doing a lot of pacing and walking around,” she said. “She grabbed lots of blankets. . . . And he comports himself well. I am excited to see how he will fit into the group dynamic. Travel + Leisure may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Welcome, 'Little One': Critically Endangered Gorilla Born At National Zoo

He's named "Moke," which is a Lingala word meaning "little one." He's the first of his kind to be born at the National Zoo in nine years, perfect and wrinkly and clinging to his mother.

In the footage above, Calaya gently cradles her tiny, brand new bundle of joy and expresses her affection by peppering his face with soft kisses. Native to Africa, western lowland gorillas live in the forests of Gabon, Central Africa Republic, Cameroon, Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Congo, says the zoo in its statement. Calaya gives baby Moke a kiss. Malinsky, the assistant curator of primates, noticed that Calaya looked restless and uncomfortable, and then she saw the animal’s water break.

This was in 2015, while she was still on birth control, but it was promising for the future. It was an amazing moment to share with the team. She would wrap herself in them. The search for the source of the outbreak is ongoing. The zoo's Great Ape House is indefinitely closed while Calaya nurses and bonds with Moke, and when it re-opens, both will be available to the public. As heavy rains engulfed Washington, D.C., last night, the city welcomed an eagerly awaited ape into the world.

National Zoo welcomes 'incredible' birth of baby gorilla named Moke

Staff watches five hours of labor, then birth of first baby western lowland gorilla in years.

He stayed at a respectful distance the whole time, says the zoo. All products featured were editorially selected. And while Calaya appears to be bonding with Moke, the zoo does have a backup plan. Malinsky got on the phone with her supervisor: “I think this is something,” she said. The baby’s male sex was confirmed Monday morning. Keepers were not sure how Calaya would react to her baby. “She’s very new at this,” Brown said.

Baraka, the father, is a hulking “silverback,” so called because of the gray hair on his broad back. The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration say the Yuma, Arizona, growing region is the source, but no farm has been identified. Calaya, however, will have her choice of rooms, and some of those are away from prying (public) eyes. In the minutes after giving birth, 15-year-old Calaya cradled her newborn in her arms.

National Zoo welcomes 'incredible' birth of baby gorilla

"It was an amazing moment to share with the team. We were all really close to tears."

The zoo’s staff is watching carefully as Calaya nurses the closely clinging newborn, and they are “cautiously optimistic” that young Moke will thrive. PEOPLE.com may receive a percentage of sales for items purchased from these links. © 2017 Time Inc. I am excited to see how he will fit into the group dynamic. Members of the zoo staff said it was an amazing event. He looks strong and healthy, Bastian said: “He’s vocal already. . . .

WASHINGTON — Becky Malinsky was on duty in the National Zoo’s Great Ape House a little after 1 p.m. The baby’s male sex was confirmed Monday morning. In the closely watched race, Debbie Lesko, a former state lawmaker, turned back a spirited challenge from a first-time Democratic candidate seeking to flip the seat from GOP hands. In the meantime, the zoo's other gorillas are still out and about for the public to see, and a keeper will be around the enclosure at 11:30 a.m.

Say hello to Moke, the first gorilla born at Smithsonian National Zoo in 9 years

Moke is the first western lowland gorilla born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., in 9 years.

So, we wondered, did the zoo keepers also teach Calaya to kiss her baby? All Rights Reserved. Mom and baby are doing great and The Great Ape House is now open to visitors! The zoo’s other gorillas hovered nearby. He’s cried, and she . . . reacts.” The two adult gorillas have been a power couple since Calaya arrived three years ago. As for Baraka, “he has an extremely playful side,” Brown said. “He knows where everybody is,” she said.

He looks strong and healthy, Bastian said: “He’s vocal already. . . . After the zoo confirmed that Calaya was pregnant in fall 2017, they began to train her to be a mom. Remember that kid who invented a way to clean up ocean plastic? Western lowland gorillas are native to the forests and swamps of Gabon, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of the Congo and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Baby Gorilla Bonds With His Mother Moments After Birth in Adorable Video

Calaya, a 15-year-old Western Lowland gorilla at Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., warmed hearts across the internet when the zoo posted

As soon as a gorilla is born, the mother’s instincts kick in and she will begin to groom the baby,” Hanna told PEOPLE. “It can look a lot like human kissing! This was years in the making: An adorable, critically endangered male lowland gorilla has been born at Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Western Lowland Gorillas have been classified as critically endangered by the IUCN since 2007 .

Baraka is 26. And he comports himself well. Members of the zoo staff said it was an amazing event. Baraka is 26. This was done largely to ensure that Calaya would care for the infant instead of potentially abandoning it. Copyright © 2018 NARRATIVE CONTENT GROUP. Moke joins his parents Calaya and Baraka, as well as an adult female named Mandara and a sub-adult female named Kibibi, in a troop similar to one that would be found in the wild.

First Infant Gorilla Born at the Zoo in Nine Years; Watch a Video of the Birth

Little “Moke” and his first-time mother “Calaya” are doing well

Mom and baby are doing great and The Great Ape House is now open to visitors! She came to the zoo in February 2015 after scientists recommended that she might be a good candidate to breed there. The animals are native to western Africa and the population in the wild continues to decrease. We saw the five hours of labor. . . . Calaya weighs about 205 pounds and is the dominant female in her group. And with the newborn, he will be involved. “This is his family,” Brown said.

The zoo has six gorillas. Keeper Melba Brown determined that Calaya learned best by watching other gorillas train, and taught her through that method. We're happy you're here! Because first-time mothers are occasionally unwilling or unable to care for their offspring, keepers were ready to use Mandara , who has successfully raised six infants, as a foster mom. Luckily, the pregnancy process for western lowland gorillas is not so different from their human cousins.

Oh My God, Check Out This Amazing Baby Gorilla

Gorillas Calaya & Moke are bonding in the Great Ape House. The Two-Way is the place to come for breaking news, analysis and for stories that are just too interesting – or too entertaining – to pass up. We were all kind of shaking a little with happiness. The zoo has six gorillas. Comment s Michael E. We all saw everything. A gorilla’s gestation period is 71/2 to eight months. Brown worked to reinforce these lessons by showing Calaya images of other mother gorillas and even giving her a plush gorilla toy to gently touch and kiss.

First Gorilla Born At National Zoo In 9 Years

National Zoo welcomes ‘incredible’ birth of baby gorilla named Moke The National Zoo welcomed a baby gorilla named Moke on April 15. It was an amazing moment to share with the team. A gorilla’s gestation period is 7½ to eight months. Ruane is a general assignment reporter who also covers Washington institutions and historical topics. We saw the birth. The ape house was closed Monday. The work seems to have paid off.

Baby gorilla, Moke, born at National Zoo in Washington

We were all really close to tears.” The baby, the first such gorilla born at the zoo in nine years , arrived at 6:25 p.m. The ape house, closed Monday, reopened Tuesday morning. Follow @michaelruane Dana Hedgpeth is a Washington Post reporter, working in the early morning to report on traffic, crime and other local issues. We saw the five hours of labor. . . . She became pregnant in August. If Calaya hadn't taken to motherhood, the zoo was prepared for that eventuality as well.

Adam Cohen is an editorial intern with Smithsonian magazine. Native to the forested and swampy areas of central Africa, western lowland gorillas have seen their population fall by around 60 percent over the last 25 years. It was an amazing moment to share with the team. The primate team's goal was to set Calaya up for success as best we could, given that she is a first-time mother. Ruane and Dana Hedgpeth By Michael E.

Watch: Gorilla Gives Birth to First Son Moke at Smithsonian Zoo

The Smithsonian National Zoo’s 15-year-old gorilla Calaya has welcomed her first son into the world. Moke, meaning “little one” in the African Lingala language, becomes the first male western lowland gorilla born at the zoo in nine years.

The zoo verified that using a standard human pregnancy test. She joined The Post in 1999. We were all kind of shaking a little with happiness. So she knows what it means to kiss her baby, to touch her baby and to feed her baby,” Brown said recently. Calaya resides in a mixed-sex gorilla troop with Baraka, an adult female named Mandara and a sub-adult female named Kibibi. Time Inc. A hammerhead shark locates a stingray hiding beneath the ocean floor.

I am excited to see how he will fit into the group dynamic. One of the animal keepers, Melba Brown, figured out that the best way to teach Calaya was for her to see other gorillas train. Ruane and Dana Hedgpeth Email the author April 17 Email the author Follow @michaelruane Follow @postmetrogirl Becky Malinsky was on duty in the National Zoo’s Great Ape House a little after 1 p.m. She would wrap herself in them.