Gorilla gives birth with help from doctors who treat people

Ebony Scott
June 7, 2017

This photo provided by the Philadelphia Zoo shows a newly born western lowland gorilla resting on its mother Kira in Philadelphia.

Kira seemed unwell so the zoo brought in a team of vets and doctors - who are more used to dealing with human patients - on board to help out. He and his mother are doing well under careful observation.

Zoo Keepers say the birth process wasn't easy, and became concerned for the health of Kira and the baby when labor appeared not to be progressing. The medical and veterinary professionals included an obstetrician-gynecologist, surgeons and anesthesiologists from University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Presbyterian Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Western lowland gorillas, which inhabit African forests, are listed as a critically endangered species.

There have been several successful cesarean section deliveries for gorillas over the past few years, but assisted vaginal delivery isn't common, according to the zoo.

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Mr Baker added: "Though Kira is a first-time mom, we're not surprised she's acting like an expert already".

Zookeepers cared for the newborn gorilla for approximately 24 hours while Kira recovered from the procedure. The baby was healthy and weighed 5 pounds at birth. The mother and baby were reunited the following morning, and Kira was taken over mommy duty - cradling and nursing her son. Meanwhile, Dad Motuba is sticking close by to guard the family.

It was an unusual birth, Baker said.

The zoo plans to again consult with the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (GRACE) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to choose a name for the baby primate.

Other reports by GizPress

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