Image: © Smithsonian's National Zoo

You can Help Name the Baby Gorilla at the Smithsonian's Zoo


The Animal Facts Editorial Team


June 6, 2023 5:30 pm


Washington DC, The United States

Keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI) have announced that gorilla fans will be able to help decide on the name of their western lowland gorilla infant born on May 27 2023. Keepers have created a shortlist of names and will ask the public to decide which is the favourite.

On the morning of June 5 2023 keepers at the NZCBI threw a baby shower for the new arrival where they announced that the infant is a female.

The three possible names which may be given to the infant are -

  • Lola [LOH-la]: Yoruba for “greatness”
  • Mkali [M-KAH-lee]: Swahili for “fierce”
  • Zahra [ZAH-rah]: Swahili for “beautiful flower”

You can vote for your favourite name until noon on June 9 2023 with the announcement taking place later that day. Place your vote for her name here - Gorilla Baby Name Vote.

The new arrival is the second infant for 20-year-old mother Calaya and 31-year-old father Baraka. Calaya has proven to be an expert mother with the infant seen clinging to her chest and nursing.

Gorillas live in a family group known as a troop. The troop is made up of Calaya, Baraka, their new infant and 5-year-old Moke, as well as a 41-year-old female named Mandara and her 14-year-old daughter, Kibibi.

These animals naturally occur in the rainforests of Central Africa. Over the past 20 to 25 years their numbers have decreased by as much as 60%. A significant threat to this species is mining for metals which are commonly used in electronics. By recycling old electronic goods you can help to reduce the demand for these items and reduce mining in gorilla habitat.

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More on the Western Lowland Gorilla!

The smallest of the three gorilla species, find out what else makes the western lowland gorilla unique in our fact file.

Our Favourite Western Lowland Gorilla Fact!

Each night the western lowland gorilla will construct a nest in which they can sleep. They also create one of these for their midday nap.

Image: © Smithsonian's National Zoo

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