WASHINGTON - Calaya, a 20-year-old female western lowland gorilla, gave birth on Saturday, according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
Calaya and 31-year-old father Baraka bred in September 2022. The National Zoo says this baby gorilla is the second offspring for both parents.
The western lowland gorilla is a critically endangered species native to Africa.
"We are overjoyed to welcome a new infant to our western lowland gorilla troop," said Becky Malinsky, curator of primates. "Calaya is an experienced mother, and I have every confidence she will take excellent care of this baby, as she did with her first offspring, Moke. Since his birth in 2018, it’s been wonderful seeing her nurturing and playful side come out. I encourage people to visit our gorilla family and be inspired to help save this critically endangered species in the wild."
The National Zoo says it could be some time before they can confirm the baby's sex – right now, the baby is bonding with Calaya who has been observed nursing the baby.
The Great Ape House at the National Zoo is closed until Tuesday, May 30 while Calaya bonds with her baby.