Gorilla cradles, kisses her newborn in heartwarming video

Uplifting footage has emerged of a western lowland gorilla cradling her newborn baby and kissing its head.

Western Lowland Gorilla Calaya gave birth to Moke on Sunday (local time) at Washington's Smithsonian National Zoo after being bred with fellow gorilla Baraka in 2017.

Cameras from inside the enclosure caught Calaya giving Moke a once over and tenderly kissing him on the head shortly after he was born.

Zoo staff are ecstatic at Calaya's success in carrying Moke, and say initial impressions are that he will thrive in his mother's care.

"The birth of this western lowland gorilla is very special and significant, not only to our zoo family but also to this critically endangered species as a whole," said Meredith Bastian, curator of primates.

"The primate team's goal was to set Calaya up for success as best we could, given that she is a first-time mother.

"Doing so required great patience and dedication on the part of my team, and I am very proud of them and Calaya."

Had Calaya been unable to care for Moke, the zoo had a foster gorilla mother in place to look after him.

They're hoping he will integrate into their troop of gorillas well once he is a bit bigger.

Newshub.