While in labor, this endangered gorilla had a difficult time giving birth. Thanks to a team of vets and doctors who assisted with the pregnancy, she gave birth to a healthy male baby gorilla and by the next day, she had recovered from the ordeal.
After a whole day of struggling to give birth, this mother gorilla was distressed and exhausted. Usually, gorilla births are quick and easy. But 17-year-old gorilla, Kira had a much harder time during labor. Staff at the Philadelphia Zoo were concerned for her and her baby’s health.
The zoo quickly brought in a team of veterinarians and doctors—doctors for treating humans—to help Kira during the birth. The medical team included an ob-gyn, surgeons, and anesthesiologists from hospitals affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University, as well as the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
After one-and-a-half hours, Kira, a western lowland gorilla, and first-time mother gave birth to a healthy baby, which is the third child for 32-year-old father Motuba. Mother Kira was fully recovered by the next morning.
“It was an anxious and dramatic day at the zoo, but in the end a tremendously rewarding one,” Dr. Andy Baker, Philadelphia Zoo’s chief operating officer said in a news release.
Kira was reunited with her baby the next morning, and has been continuously cradling and nursing him.
Western lowland gorillas, which inhabit African forests, are listed as a critically endangered species in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.