WASHINGTON (WHDH) – A tender and touching moment was captured on video Sunday at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, where a baby male gorilla experienced the world for the first time in the loving arms of his mother.
The mother, Calaya, kissed and cradled the newborn, named Moke, meaning “junior.” The baby gorilla’s father waited respectfully nearby and let out a contended rumble when Moke was born.
Moke was Calaya’s first child. Calaya’s handlers gave her training on how to care for an infant – including a plush stuffed gorilla to practice with.
The Washington Post reported the zoo had the gorilla on birth control pills when she arrived in 2015 so she could get acclimated to her surroundings and find her place in the group.
For the critically endangered lowland gorilla species, the birth has been called a miracle.
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