Baby Watch: National Zoo Awaits 1st Newborn Gorilla in Nearly a Decade - NBC4 Washington

Baby Watch: National Zoo Awaits 1st Newborn Gorilla in Nearly a Decade

Calaya, a 15-year-old western lowland gorilla, is in her birth window, according to the zoo

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    Baby Watch: National Zoo Awaits 1st Newborn Gorilla in Nearly a Decade
    Smithsonian's National Zoo

    Move over, April the giraffe! The Smithsonian's National Zoo is on birth watch as keepers await the arrival of the zoo's first baby gorilla in nine years.

    The little one could be here very soon, according to the zoo.

    Calaya, a 15-year-old western lowland gorilla, is in her birth window, according to the zoo. This will be her first baby. For expectant dad Baraka, a silverback gorilla, this would be his first surviving offspring.

    Calaya arrived at the National Zoo in February 2015 from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. She and Baraka hit it off as soon as she arrived, according to the zoo, and the two mated last summer.

    Keepers used a common human pregnancy test to confirm that she had conceived, the zoo said.

    But no, there won't be a live camera available to the public -- so don't expect it'll be like the Animal Adventure Park's April the giraffe, who went viral last year as viewers across the U.S. awaited her baby's birth.

    Zookeepers also don't plan to intervene unless they really need to. However, because this will be Calaya's first baby, keepers have been conducting maternal training with her. They use a plush gorilla toy to train her to touch, kiss and nurse to make sure she can take care of her infant when the time comes.

    The zookeepers have been tracking Calaya's behaviors and appetite, and they've encouraged the public to follow along with their updates using the hashtag #GorillaStory. One fact they've shared: Like humans, gorillas also get morning sickness.

    The birth is a big deal at the zoo because western lowland gorillas are critically endangered in the wild.

    The last gorilla born at the National Zoo was Kibibi, in January 2009.