Medical Experts Helped Gorilla Give Birth at Philadelphia Zoo

Mother and baby gorilla

On June 2nd, a healthy baby gorilla was successfully delivered at Philadelphia Zoo

On June 2nd, a team of both veterinary and human doctors was called at the Philadelphia Zoo to help an endangered gorilla give birth, after she appeared to struggle with complications during labor. The team contained surgeons, anesthesiologists, and an ob-gyn who successfully deliver a healthy newborn baby.

After one and a half hours of efforts, the male baby gorilla was born. The healthy newborn weighed five pounds, and celebrated the success of the medical team who encountered no difficulties in bringing it into this world. Kira was the 17-year-old mother, a western lowland specimen, who got pregnant with Motuba, the zoo’s own gorilla, aged 32.

The mother gorilla faced some problems, but she gave birth to a healthy baby

Kira was pregnant for the first time and, on June 1st, she started showing signs that she was going into labor. This is when the team of experts was called. However, they started getting worried when, the next day, the gorilla was still in labor, but she hadn’t given birth.

She seemed tired, and appeared that her condition was getting worse. Nevertheless, labor did not seem to progress. This is quite an unusual behavior for gorillas, so the experts alarmed and decided to intervene.

“Typically, gorilla labor is quick and the mother does not appear tired, distressed, or show symptoms of feeling poorly.”

Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered

After Kira underwent anesthesia, they noticed how she was ready to give birth. Therefore, the experts assisted her and successfully delivered the baby. After Kira recovered from the anesthesia, she was reunited with her newborn, and immediately started caring for him and nursing him.

This species of gorilla is listed as critically endangered, due to massive poaching and habitat destruction. Their numbers have decreased by 60 percent during the last 25 years and, although many actions are taken to protect their populations, they would need around 75 years to recover completely.


Image Source: Flickr

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