News & Politics

You Can Help Name the National Zoo’s Adorable Baby Gorilla

Voting is open until June 9.

Photograph by Valerie Schultz/Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

There may be some monkey business afoot in DC’s latest election. The Smithsonian National Zoo is hosting an online vote to name the new baby gorilla, and the public can cast their ballot for one of three names. Voting is open between now and June 9 at 12 PM. A name will be announced the day voting closes. 

According to the zoo, here are the options for the new western lowland gorilla:

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

The unnamed ape was born on May 27, joining five other gorillas at the zoo. Mom Calaya and dad Baraka have some practice being parents: The baby ape’s older brother is 5-year-old Moke, the rambunctious gorilla born in 2018.

The latest addition to the zoo has been seen clinging to her mother as she continues to adjust. You can currently visit the family in the Great Ape House. 

Nick Pasion
Editorial Fellow