Imani, an 18-year-old gorilla at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park gave birth to a baby girl after an emergency c-section.
The full-term baby, weighing 4.6 pounds, was delivered by a team of San Diego Zoo Global staff and outside consultants, including a veterinary surgeon and human neonatal specialists from UCSD Medical Center.
The baby is showing some complications believed to be related to the difficult labor, and she is currently in intensive care receiving oxygen and supplemental fluids at the veterinary hospital. Imani is recovering from surgery in the familiar surroundings of the gorilla bedroom area.
The decision to deliver by c-section was made to protect both the health of the mom and baby, says Nadine Lamberski, associate director of veterinary services at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
In retrospect the c-section was the right decision..We think the health of the fetus would have been compromised if we delayed the surgery any longer.”
This is the first baby for Imani and the 17th gorilla to be born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
The Safari Park is home to eight gorillas, including the new baby. There are four females: Vila, Kamilah, Kokamo, and Imani; two young males: Monroe, born at the Safari Park in 2011, and Frank, born at the San Diego Zoo in 2008; and adult male Winston, the silverback leader of the troop.
Photo credit: San Diego Safari Park