Animals are a fascinating thing and the way they interact with the humans is pretty astonishing. There are some who get violent and there are some who feel at home with the humans as well as with other animals. There are rare cases when animals interact with each other but when they do, it’s a scene worth watching. A similar scene occurred in The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. when a Gorilla Cradle welcomed her newly born baby.
There is an old quote, “A mother’s kiss is the best medicine in the world”. And this newly born gorilla baby Moke learned this lesson in a natural way as her mother Calaya kissed her several times in her first interaction with the child. The scene was also emotional for the people surrounding the scene.
The first interaction between the Gorilla mother and her newly born baby was captured in astonishing photos and videos. This was the first birth in nine years at the Zoo. The Gorilla mother named Calaya gave birth to a male gorilla named Moke on Sunday. The Zoo team captured the heart touching moments during the first interaction of Calaya and her son. Later on, the pictures, as well as videos, were shared on the official website of the Zoo and on social media.
The official Twitter page of The National Zoo tweeted :
We are excited to announce that Calaya gave birth to a male gorilla at 6:25 PM, this Sunday. The name of the baby is Moke which means “little one”.
The heart touching scenes as Gorilla mother meets first time with her newborn baby.
According to the Zoo officials, Calaya was taking care of her infant for weeks and they believe that the infant will thrive. The newborn Gorilla was bred by the father Baraka and mom Calaya in the last summer. Father Baraka was 26 and mother Calaya was 15 when they mated last summer. The love of Calaya can be seen in the video as she is holding Moke with a locked gaze. People gathered in huge numbers as they were excited to see the newborn Moke (pronounced as mo-KEY).
Calaya kisses her baby several times before lying him down in her enclosure for rest. While giving an interview to the official website of The National Zoo, Meredith Bastian said that the birth of Moke is very special for the Zoo family but also for this species. Bastian is the curator of primates who also said that they tried their best for Calaya as she was going to be a first-time mother. She added that it was a great responsibility on the team to take care the Gorilla mother for such a long time but she was proud of her team as well as Calaya.
Zoo officials believe that Calaya will prove to be an excellent caregiver for Moke. Melba Brown, the animal keeper assured that they will provide everything Calaya needed but they believe that she will be an excellent mom.
She added that the arrival of Moke had paid off the effort their team put on since last summer. The whole staff is excited and happy with Moke’s arrival. Melba also said that she is excited to see how Moke will fit in as there are many dynamic members in the group. She also explained that Calaya learned the basics from other mother gorillas and she is confident that Calaya will repeat the same with Moke.
There is a great contribution of Brown behind Calaya’s actions with Moke. She trained Calaya by showing her the photos of other mother gorillas.
The Animal Care staff has decided to leave the mother alone with the baby so that she can bond deeply with Moke. Also, The Great Ape House will remain closed for a couple of days as the mother gorilla will be allowed to spend more time with Moke. Back in 2017, Calaya pregnancy was detected successfully by a human pregnancy test. Many ultrasounds tests were done during Celaya’s pregnancy which showed the rapid growth of Moke throughout the gestation period. Celaya’s pregnancy was announced by the Zoo Team on November 3 and later many updates were given on Facebook and Instagram using the #GorillaStory hashtag.