WASHINGTON — A western lowland gorilla was born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C.
News outlets report Moke (Mo-KEY) was born Sunday. Zoo officials say his name means “little one” or “junior” in Lingala, which is a Bantu language.
Moke’s parents, Calaya and Baraka, were bred following a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.
The Great Ape House is closed to provide Calaya a quiet space to bond with her infant. However, Calaya and Moke will be on exhibit if the youngster continues to thrive.
Native to Africa, western lowland gorillas live in the forests of Gabon, Central Africa Republic, Cameroon, Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Congo.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists it as critically endangered due to disease and poaching.