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July 25, 2014

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San Diego Zoo performs rare C-section on gorilla

Image

San Diego Zoo / AP

Staff at the San Diego Zoo tend to a 1-day-old baby girl gorilla who was born at the zoo after an emergency C-section procedure Wednesday, March, 12, 2014. Park keeper Jennifer Minichino carefully holds the baby while Dr. Jack Allen examines the newborn.

SAN DIEGO — Veterinarians at the San Diego Zoo have performed an operation on a newborn gorilla that was delivered by cesarean section.

The zoo says the 4.6-pound female was born Wednesday but seemed to have breathing problems. On Friday morning, a team fixed a collapsed lung that probably occurred during delivery.

The medical team included vets and two doctors who usually work on humans: a neonatal specialist and an anesthesiologist.

Neonatologist Dawn Reeves says the patient was different from human babies because, among other things, she can grab with both her hands and her feet.

The gorilla will be monitored around the clock as she recovers.

The mother gorilla, named Imani, had never given birth. The zoo says an emergency C-section was performed because she was in distress after going into labor.

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