An 11-day-old baby gorilla is happy and healthy after being delivered in an emergency Cesarean section in Bristol, England, due to her mother’s health complications.
When the baby’s mother, Kera, starting showing symptoms of pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening pregnancy complication involving high blood pressure, veterinarians knew they had to act fast.
Cesarean sections are so rare in gorillas that the staff at the Bristol Zoo had to call in a gynecologist, David Cahill, from the University of Bristol, to deliver the baby, said Fox 5.
“Having been involved with the care of these gorillas over the years, with some trepidation and excitement, we were invited to the zoo to assess the well-being of Kera, because she was in late pregnancy and showed some signs of being unwell,” Cahill said in a statement according to ABC News.
The gynecologist said that the “only way to treat” Kera was to deliver the baby immediately.
The birth is the first time a C-section has been performed on a gorilla in the Bristol Zoo’s history.
Cahill called the procedure “one of the biggest achievements of my life” and said that it is “something I will certainly never forget.”
The baby gorilla weighed in at 2 pounds 10 ounces at birth and initially needed help breathing. Eventually, the baby began breathing on her own.