***Video above: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo welcomes baby monkey***
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJW) – The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is celebrating — their female western lowland gorilla, 20-year-old Calaya, is expecting!
Zoo officials posted ultrasound video on their Facebook page last week, saying the baby is expected between late May and early July.
This is the second little one for parents Calaya and Baraka, who had their first offspring, Moke, in April of 2018.
Zoo staff is especially excited since western lowland gorillas are considered critically endangered.
Researchers at the zoo say, due to factors like habitat loss, poaching and disease, the western lowland gorilla population has dropped 60% over the past 20 to 25 years.
“As we prepare to welcome a new western lowland gorilla to our troop, we hope this baby’s impending arrival inspires the public to care about these charismatic, intelligent and fascinating animals,” said Becky Malinsky, curator of primates at Smithsonian’s National Zoo. “Every new birth contributes to the conservation of this species, as they are critically endangered in the wild.”
You can keep up with updates on the pregnancy and all the gorillas at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo here.