In an incredible video from Washington D.C.'s Smithsonian National Zoo, an endangered western lowland gorilla named Calaya became a first-time mom and her reaction upon her baby's delivery was so touchingly lovely.
Moke, (pronounced "Mo-KEY"), was born at about 6:25 p.m. Sunday. The little guy's name means "junior" or "little one" in the Lingala language.
"Keepers report that Calaya has been caring for her infant & are optimistic he will thrive".
According to the zoo's website, the parents-15-year-old mother Calaya and 26-year-old father Baraka-bred in summer 2017 following a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan (SSP).
The zoo has released a sweet video showing new mom 15-year-old Calaya, kissing and lovingly holding her baby.
Keepers trained Calaya to take voluntary ultrasound so they could monitor Moke's fetal growth.
Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered, so the zoo says it is thrilled to have a new addition to the family. Zookeepers asked Calaya to touch and kiss the plush baby, hold it gently and present her chest so it can nurse.
'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.
"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.
'Doing so required great patience and dedication on the part of my team, and I am very proud of them and Calaya'.
"We will provide support to her if need be, but I have every confidence that Calaya will be a great mum to Moke". Calaya resides in a mixed-sex gorilla troop with Baraka, an adult female named Mandara and a sub-adult female named Kibibi.