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Western lowland gorilla News Archive

Western lowland gorilla infant Moke rests on the chest of his mother Calaya
Apr. 17, 2018
On Sunday, April 15, western lowland gorilla Calaya gave birth! Calaya and her newborn son, Moke, are resting and bonding in the Great Ape House.
Apr. 16, 2018
For the first time in nine years, primate staff at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are celebrating the birth of a male western lowland gorilla. 
Western lowland gorilla Calaya in the yard.
Apr. 06, 2018
The Great Ape House is awaiting the arrival of its newest resident! Keepers have been watching western lowland gorilla Calaya’s sleep patterns, appetite and socialization, as any changes in her...
Western lowland gorilla Calaya participates in an ultrasound with animal keeper Melba Brown.
Mar. 30, 2018
As western lowland gorilla Calaya nears the end of her pregnancy, keepers at the Great Ape House are keeping a close watch on her, monitoring for any indication that she is in labor. Calaya is due to...
Western lowland gorilla Calaya eating her vegetable diet.
Mar. 23, 2018
Primate keeper Melba Brown discusses nutrition for pregnant western lowland gorilla, Calaya, and the significant role of milk for her infant.
Western lowland gorillas Mandara and Calaya in their yard
Mar. 02, 2018
Expectant animal mothers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo often undergo maternal training to ensure that they are successful parents to their new offspring. In addition to training the mothers-to-be...
Western lowland gorilla Calaya is in her third trimester.
Feb. 23, 2018
Family dynamics and relationships can be complicated, even among gorillas. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Great Ape House is home to two groups—called troops—of western lowland gorillas.
Animal keepers Melba Brown (foreground) and Amanda Bania (background) train western lowland gorilla Calaya for ultrasounds.
Feb. 16, 2018
Primate keeper Melba Brown trained the Zoo’s pregnant western lowland gorilla, Calaya, to participate in ultrasounds. 
Western Lowland Gorilla Calaya
Feb. 09, 2018
When it comes to caring for babies at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, it takes a village. For western lowland gorilla Calaya, her village of support is the great ape animal care team and her primary...
Calaya gathers Timothy hay and wood wool for her nest.
Jan. 26, 2018
Everyone likes to have a cozy place to sleep. Western lowland gorillas, however, rarely sleep in the same bed twice.
Western Lowland Gorilla Calaya
Dec. 18, 2017
Western lowland gorilla Calaya recently entered her second trimester of pregnancy. Just like other members of the great ape family—including humans—gorillas experience weight gain, and some...
Western Lowland Gorilla Calaya
Dec. 01, 2017
When western lowland gorilla Calaya first arrived at the Zoo, she was unfamiliar with many husbandry behaviors. Then, one Day, animal keeper Melba Brown had an 'aha' moment. She noticed that Calaya...
Western Lowland Gorilla Calaya
Nov. 24, 2017
Excitement abounds at the Great Ape House as animal keepers prepare western lowland gorilla Calaya for motherhood. Even before she arrived at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in 2015, the Association...
Ring-Tailed Lemurs
May. 05, 2017
Go behind the scenes with animal keepers Emily Bricker, Melba Brown and Alexandra Reddy as they care for some of the most endangered primates in the world.
Jan. 06, 2017
Calaya is not like the Zoo’s other western lowland gorillas. For months, keepers tried to encourage Calaya to train and participate in enrichment activities to no avail. Then came an “AHA!” moment: ...
Oct. 01, 2013
The Great Ape House staff sent 19-year-old female western lowland gorilla Kigali to the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas on October 16. She was born here at the National Zoo to Mandara and Gus...
Feb. 01, 2013
The Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) is dedicated to providing a healthy, genetically diverse and self-sustaining population of Western Lowland gorillas in zoos across the United States.