5 Fun Facts About National Zoo's Pregnant Gorilla, Calaya

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Zoológico Nacional del Smithsonian
Calaya was born in August 2002 at the Woodland Park Zoo and arrived at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in February 2015 on a breeding recommendation from the Gorilla Species Survival Plan. She is about to become a proud mama; 26-year-old gorilla Baraka is the dad.
Zoológico Nacional del Smithsonian
Gorillas live for 30 or 40 years in the wild, but that number jumps to the 50s when under human care. The oldest western lowland gorilla at the National Zoo is 36; the youngest is 9 years old. There are six gorillas of their kind at the zoo.
Zoológico Nacional del Smithsonian
In the wild, gorillas build nests on the ground or in trees to stay comfortable. Visitors to the Great Ape House may notice mom-to-be Calaya building nests more frequently as she advanced in her pregnancy. Increased nest-building is natural for pregnant gorillas, the zoo said.
Zoológico Nacional del Smithsonian
The silverback has exclusive mating rights with the adult females in his group, and Baraka is the silverback in Calaya's troop. Female gorillas normally have their first baby between 10 and 11 years old, so Calaya is a few years later than average.
Zoológico Nacional del Smithsonian
Western lowland gorilla pregnancy lasts about eight and a half months, and birth can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. This picture of Calaya's baby comes from a recent ultrasound.
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