Baby Gorilla Born Via C-Section At San Diego Zoo - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Baby Gorilla Born Via C-Section At San Diego Zoo

Posted: Updated:
(NBC New York)-  A tiny, two-day-old gorilla born by emergency C-section at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park was taken to the park’s veterinary hospital Friday morning to undergo treatment for a collapsed lung after experiencing increased respiratory distress.

Vets had been monitoring the baby gorilla around-the-clock since her birth and noticed she was experiencing increased respiratory distress. The baby animal’s heart rate became elevated and she was breathing very rapidly. After conducting a chest X-ray, veterinarians confirmed that the baby gorilla had a collapsed lung.

So, on Friday morning, a team of vets and animal care specialists gathered to perform the procedure. They were also joined by a neonatal specialist and anesthesiologist from the University of California, San Diego Health System.

The tiny gorilla was carefully intubated and specialists suctioned out a mucus plug that was in her right lung. Park officials believe it likely aspirated at the time of the baby gorilla’s complicated delivery. Following the procedure, the medical team re-inflated the critter’s lung.

After monitoring the baby animal, specialists concluded that both lungs were fully inflated and called the procedure a success.

Once she awoke from the anesthesia, her breathing tube was removed and she was placed on a nasal cannula with oxygen for continued respiratory support.

Park officials say the baby gorilla will continue to receive 24-7 monitoring.

She remains in intensive care and, for now, specialists say she’s making progress and is beginning to breathe on her own but is still receiving oxygen and fluids as needed. Specialists say the baby gorilla has a very strong grip already, using both her hands and feet to reach out.

Now, C-sections are fairly common in human births, but it's rare to hear about them in the animal kingdom.

That's why San Diego Zoo Safari Park officials are touting the birth of this new baby gorilla, courtesy of an emergency C-section.

According to park officials, the baby’s mother, 18-year-old gorilla Imani, went into labor Wednesday morning.

However, by that evening, she showed no signs of progress, so veterinary staff took her to the Safari Park veterinary hospital for emergency surgery.

"In retrospect the C-section was the right decision," said the park’s Associate Director of Veterinary Services Nadine Lamberski in a release. "We think the health of the fetus would have been compromised if we delayed the surgery any longer.”

The operation was done by a San Diego Zoo Global team and outside consultants, including a veterinary surgeon and human neonatal specialist from UC San Diego Medical Center.

The 4.6-pound female baby -- which has not been named -- showed complications that veterinarians believe is related to a difficult labor, zoo officials say. This included her collapsed lung on Friday.

Meanwhile, the baby’s mother is recovering from surgery in the gorilla habitat, eating and doing well, officials confirmed. Keepers will continue to keep a close eye on her too.

This is Imani’s first baby – the 17th to be born at Safari Park, which now houses eight gorillas.

Two of the males were also born in San Diego: Monroe in 2011 and Frank in 2008.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • VIRAL VIDEO: Holy Moly! This girl is definitely NOT afraid of spiders!

    VIRAL VIDEO: Holy Moly! This girl is definitely NOT afraid of spiders!

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:00:12 GMT
    KHQ.COM - You don't even know what this girl is about to do to prove she is definitely NOT afraid of spiders! Is she crazy or just fearless? Would you do this for $500? $1,000? $20,000? >>>WATCH>>>>>
    KHQ.COM - You don't even know what this girl is about to do to prove she is definitely NOT afraid of spiders! Is she crazy or just fearless? Would you do this for $500? $1,000? $20,000? >>>WATCH>>>>>
  • One person dead after hit & run in Spokane Valley

    One person dead after hit & run in Spokane Valley

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:02 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:02:36 GMT
    KHQ.COM - One person is dead after a hit and run near I-90 Park Rd. in Spokane Valley. It happened around 1:30 am on Tuesday. At this point police do not have a suspect description but are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.>>
    KHQ.COM - One person is dead after a hit and run near I-90 Park Rd. in Spokane Valley. It happened around 1:30 am on Tuesday. At this point police do not have a suspect description but are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.>>
  • TRENDING: Jennifer Lawrence requests nude pics investigation

    TRENDING: Jennifer Lawrence requests nude pics investigation

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:50:31 GMT
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A publicist for Jennifer Lawrence says the actress has contacted authorities after nude photos of her were apparently stolen and posted online. Intimate images of the Oscar winning actress began appearing online on Sunday and nude images purported to be of other female celebrities were also being circulated online.>>
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A publicist for Jennifer Lawrence says the actress has contacted authorities after nude photos of her were apparently stolen and posted online. Intimate images of the Oscar winning actress began appearing online on Sunday and nude images purported to be of other female celebrities were also being circulated online.
    >>
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Video released by ISIS shows beheading of US journalist

    Video released by ISIS shows beheading of US journalist

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:14 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:14:48 GMT
    BEIRUT (AP) - An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group. >>
    BEIRUT (AP) - An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group. Sotloff, who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, had last been seen in Syrian in August 2013 until he appeared in a video released online last month by the Islamic State group that showed the beheading of fellow American journalist James Foley.>>
  • UPDATE: Joan Rivers 'Resting Comfortably' at Mount Sinai in New York

    UPDATE: Joan Rivers 'Resting Comfortably' at Mount Sinai in New York

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 AM EDT2014-08-29 04:45:02 GMT
    NEW YORK (AP) - Comedian Joan Rivers is in a New York City hospital, according to police and hospital officials who say she was rushed there from a doctor's office after going into cardiac arrest.Rivers' daughter later issued a statement about her mother's condition.>>
    NEW YORK (AP) - Comedian Joan Rivers is in a New York City hospital, according to police and hospital officials who say she was rushed there from a doctor's office after going into cardiac arrest.Rivers' daughter later issued a statement about her mother's condition.
    >>
  • VA: No proof delays in veteran care caused hospital deaths

    VA: No proof delays in veteran care caused hospital deaths

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-08-27 01:11:37 GMT
    KHQ.COM- The Department of Veterans Affairs says there's no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at the VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz.Revelations that as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting care rocked the agency this past spring, bringing to light scheduling problems and allegations of misconduct at other hospitals as well.NBC News obtained a draft report from the VA's Office of Inspector General Tuesday. The draft report says while investigators found substantial delays in care an...>>
    KHQ.COM- The Department of Veterans Affairs says there's no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at the VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz.Revelations that as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting care rocked the agency this past spring, bringing to light scheduling problems and allegations of misconduct at other hospitals as well.NBC News obtained a draft report from the VA's Office of Inspector General Tuesday. The draft report says while investigators found substantial delays in care an...>>