Gorilla cradles, kisses her newborn in heartwarming video

Gorilla cradles, kisses her newborn in heartwarming video

First-time mother Calaya gently cradled, kissed and gazed adoringly at her son Moke at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C. His name, Moke, means "junior" or "little one" in the Lingala language, ' the National Zoo wrote to their Twitter page.

'This infant's arrival triggers many emotions-joy, excitement, relief-and pride that all of our perseverance in preparing Calaya for motherhood has paid off.

Keepers trained Calaya to take voluntary ultrasound so they could monitor Moke's fetal growth.

A United States zoo has welcomed the birth of a male western lowland gorilla this week, a breed listed as critically endangered due to disease and poaching. “The primate teams goal was to set Calaya up for success as best we could, given that she is a first-time mother.

Just like human moms going to maternity class, the Zoo helped Calaya learn the skills she would need to be a good mom.

Footage from the national zoo in Washington DC shows the sweet moment mum Calaya gives her son Moke - pronounced "Mo-key" - on Sunday.

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The mother can be seen cleaning, kissing and cradling Moke in the incredible video. In the event that Calaya was unwilling or unable to care for her infant, keepers prepared Mandara, an experienced mother of six, to act as a foster mother as a precaution.

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

The Smithsonian National Zoo is doing its part to slow the decline in the gorilla population with a new addition to the troop. However, Calaya and Moke will be on exhibit to the public if Moke continues to thrive.

Because they live deep in remote and heavily forested areas, it is hard to estimate the total numbers of gorillas in the wild.

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