Gorilla, newborn share tender moment at the National Zoo

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Moke, which means "little one" in the Lingala language, is the first male western lowland gorilla born at that zoo in almost a decade, according to a Smithsonian Magazine report.

The proud parents are 15-year-old first-time mother Calaya and 26-year-old father Baraka.

Keepers trained Calaya to take voluntary ultrasound so they could monitor Moke's fetal growth. Moke means "junior" or "little one" in the language Lingala, according to staff at the zoo and conservation biology centre. Because of the gorilla's endangered status, Moke makes an incredibly exciting and valuable addition.

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Just like human moms going to maternity class, the Zoo helped Calaya learn the skills she would need to be a good mom. However, Calaya and Moke will be on exhibit if the youngster continues to thrive. Over 500 western lowland gorillas are in zoos around the world. Throughout her pregnancy, which lasted roughly nine months, Calaya received ultrasounds, hormone testing, and learned how to prepare her breasts for lactation.

They also prepared Calaya for motherhood by showing her photos of mother gorillas and giving her a plush gorilla toy to touch, kiss and practice nursing.

She then gently kisses Moke several times while admiring him and holding the baby close before laying him down to rest inside the enclosure. There are a lot of different personalities in this family troop, but they all work well together'.

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Westen lowland gorillas are native to Africa and live in the forests of Gabon, Central Africa Republic, Cameroon, Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Congo.

The western lowland gorilla is a breed listed as critically endangered due to disease and poaching.

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