Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Gorilla showers her newborn with kisses in heartwarming video

Natural instinct and a mother's love: Western lowland gorilla showers smooches on newborn at Smithsonian's National VIDEO: Gorilla mom snuggles her newborn baby at National Zoo
Ellis Copeland | 17 April, 2018, 21:49

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

Moke, which means "junior" or "little one" in the Lingala language, was born at 6.25pm.

The new arrival is a joyous occasion for a species whose wild population has been in decline in recent years due to disease and poaching, the zoo explained.

An adorable video shows a gorilla cradling her newborn baby and showering him with kisses for the first time.

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

'Doing so required great patience and dedication on the part of my team, and I am very proud of them and Calaya'.

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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.

Visitors may be sad to hear that the Great Ape House remains closed indefinitely to allow Calaya to nurse her infant.

Moke's parents, Calaya and Baraka, were bred following a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan. Since then, he and his mother Calaya have become an internet sensation.

Calaya and Moke are Western Iowland Gorillas, which are native to Africa.

The baby's father waited respectfully nearby and let out a contented rumble when Moke was born.

Animal keeper Melba Brown said zoo officials are certain Calaya will be an awesome mother to her new son. I am excited to see how he will fit into the group dynamic. There are a lot of different personalities in this family troop, but they all work together'.

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