Gorilla gives birth with help from doctors who treat people

The baby gorilla born at the Philadelphia Zoo has not yet been named

The baby gorilla born at the Philadelphia Zoo has not yet been named

Gorilla births are typically quick and the mother generally does not exhibit signs of distress or show symptoms of feeling poorly. Concerned about the health of both Kira and her baby, the zoo's veterinary staff summoned a medical team that was on stand-by.

Some Philadelphia doctors delivered a different kind of baby than usual Friday.

After 90 minutes, the team vaginally delivered a healthy five-pound baby boy.

A keeper noticed 17-year-old Kira had gone into labour on Thursday.

"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.

The surgeons, anesthesiologists and an OB-GYN were prepared to respond if anything went wrong during labor or Kira's pregnancy.

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After one-and-a-half hours, the team delivered the male baby using forceps and an episiotomy, a procedure to enlarge the birth opening.

The zoo called in the help of doctors who normally treat humans, from an OB-GYN to surgeons and anesthesiologists from local hospitals and institutions to assist in the hard birthing process for the newborn's mom, 17-year-old Kira.

There have been several successful cesarean section deliveries for gorillas at the zoo, but this assisted delivery is uncommon.

Once Kira recovered from her anesthesia she was reunited with her baby boy "and has been continuously cradling and nursing him since", the zoo wrote. Silverback Motuba, 32, is a three-time dad, and he fathered baby Armani who was born at the zoo in August.

"Everybody is excited about these two future playmates", Baker said.

Western lowland gorillas, which inhabit African forests, are listed as a critically endangered species.

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