WASHINGTON D.C. (WSVN) – The Smithsonian National Zoo is celebrating the birth of a male western lowland gorilla, the first in nine years at the zoo.
On Facebook, the National Zoo announced the gorilla’s birth and its name: Moke, which translates to “junior” or “little one” in Lingala. Moke was born to 15-year-old Calaya on Sunday, the zoo said.
“The birth of this western lowland gorilla is very special and significant, not only to our Zoo family but also to this critically endangered species as a whole,” said Meredith Bastian, curator of primates, to Fox 13.
There was also video shared by the zoo that showed Calaya holding Moke in her arms while giving the infant gorilla kisses on his face.
Western lowland gorillas are native to Africa and have been labeled as critically endangered due to disease and poaching, the zoo said.
Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.