#GorillaStory: Moke and Mom Settle In

The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is thrilled to share that western lowland gorilla Calaya gave birth to a male at 6:25 p.m. on Sunday, April 15.

The new addition to the Zoo's western lowland gorilla troop is named Moke (pronounced mo-KEY), which means “junior” or “little one” in the Lingala language.

Calaya and her newborn spent yesterday resting and bonding in the Great Ape House. According to the primate team, Calaya is providing excellent care to Moke and has been nursing and cradling him closely.

The other gorillas in the troop are curious about the new arrival! While Baraka has been “laid-back” toward his offspring, Mandara and Kibibi have shown a lot of interest in Moke. Calaya has allowed them to approach her to get a closer look at Moke while he nurses and sleeps.

The Zoo's Great Ape House has reopened to visitors and, as always, Calaya and Moke have the choice to be on or off exhibit.