Gorilla mom makes everyone emotional by bombarding love on her newborn son after giving him birth at a national zoo.
Motherhood is an incomparable experience. No one has the power to express the emotions that come with becoming a mother, until and unless they take on the role themselves. This emotion is universal, regardless of species or habitat. No matter how one identifies themselves, the love that they hold for the individual they are rearing is unparalleled. This was evident in the video shared by Smithnonian's National Zoo, where a mother gorilla is seen giving birth to a newborn male and then cradling and kissing him. The moment where she holds the newborn in her hands is heartwarming, to say the least, as she just went through painful labor to bring the munchkin into the world. But in that moment, from her gaze, it was obvious that nothing mattered, not even the pain as her son was finally in her arms.
The mother fell in love with her boy at first sight. There was love oozing out of her eyes for the little miracle. The birth was not only a joyous occasion for the parents but also for the entire zoo. It was the first time in nine years that a male western lowland gorilla had been welcomed into the zoo. The boy was named Moke, which translates to "junior" or "little one" in the Lingala language. The parents were 15-year-old mother Calaya and 26-year-old father Baraka. These two were chosen to be bred in the summer of 2017 by the zoo on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP). The birth occurred in 2018.
Calaya's pregnancy journey was closely followed by the world as the Zoo provided updates using the hashtag #GorillaStory, which generated a lot of interest. The organization was taking a special interest in the case as the Western Lowland Gorilla is a Critically Endangered species and the arrival of Moke is a beacon of hope. “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. “The primate team’s goal was to set Calaya up for success as best we could, given that she is a first-time mother. Doing so required great patience and dedication on the part of my team, and I am very proud of them and Calaya.”
The moment Calaya held Moke in her hand she began giving slippery kisses to her boy and then took him in her embrace. She was looking forward to his arrival for a long time. Even the zoo officials contributed to increasing the maternal feelings within Calaya and making her better prepared for the experience. Through the aid of the officials in the zoo, Calaya was quickly able to learn husbandry behavior. As per ABC News, the officials presented Calaya with photos of other mother gorillas and provided her with a plush gorilla toy to understand what she was getting into after birth.
“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,” said Melba Brown, an animal keeper in the zoo. “We will provide support to her if need be, but I have every confidence that Calaya will be a great mom to Moke. I am excited to see how he will fit into the group dynamic. There are a lot of different personalities in this family troop, but they all work well together.” As per the report of Country Living, the zoo remained closed for some days to give the mother and son time with each other away from prying eyes. As per the most recent update regarding Moke, the mother-son bond is still strong. The bloke is now 4 years old and has an appealing swagger. Despite the tough exterior, he often turns to his mother for comfort.