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San Diego Zoo performs rare C-section on gorilla

Friday - 3/14/2014, 6:28pm  ET

AP: 5755ad3672614b3b8e1c358ca3d0b385-0
This photo provided by the San Diego Zoo Safari Park shows the animal care staff tending to a one-day-old baby girl gorilla who was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park after an emergency c-section procedure Wednesday March, 12, 2014. Safari Park keeper Jennifer Minichino carefully holds the new baby while Dr. Jack Allen, examines the newborn gorilla. Imani is recovering from surgery in the familiar surroundings of the gorilla bedroom area. This is the first baby for Imani and the 17th gorilla to be born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. (AP Photo/San Diego Zoo Safari Park)

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Veterinarians at the San Diego Zoo have performed a rare cesarean section on an 18-year-old gorilla.

Zoo spokeswoman Christina Simmons said the female baby gorilla was in guarded condition Friday, having suffered complications from the birth Wednesday night at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

The full-term baby gorilla weighed 4.6 pounds.

Simmons said it was the first time veterinarians at the zoo performed the procedure on a gorilla.

The mother gorilla, named Imani, had never given birth and was in distress after going into labor.

Veterinarians were joined by neonatal specialists from University of California San Diego Medical Center.

The baby was the 17th gorilla born at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which is home to eight gorillas, including the new baby.


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