The National Zoo will be getting a new furry addition next year. Calaya, a 15-year-old western lowland gorilla, is pregnant, according to a press release by the zoo.
This is the first time in nine years that a western lowland gorilla will be born at the zoo. This species is critically endangered.
“Our growing primate family gives us an opportunity to highlight the differences between the biology, development and social nature of these amazing animals and inspire Zoo visitors to care about their conservation,” said Meredith Bastian, curator of primates.
The parents-to-be Calaya, and a 25-year-old silverback named Baraka, are expected to welcome their new family member in late March or early May 2018. Animal lovers can follow Calaya’s pregnancy on the Zoo’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #GorillaStory.
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Last year, another critically endangered species, a Bornean orangutan named Redd, was born at the Great Ape House.
Western lowland gorillas live in the forests of Gabon, Central Africa Republic, Cameroon, Angola, Guinea and Congo. In the past 20-25 years, the number of wild western lowland gorillas has decreased by 60 percent due to disease and poaching.