Human Doctors Helped This Endangered Gorilla Give Birth. And Her Baby Is The Cutest!
A gorilla at a zoo in Philadelphia has given birth to a healthy baby after a complicated birth requiring medical techniques used for births involving human beings. A zookeeper noticed that Kira, 17 years of age, had gone into labor on Thursday. Birth tends to be very quick for gorillas, but by Friday, there was no progress and Kira wasn't looking good at all.
Worried about the health of Kira and her baby, the zoo brought in a team made up of veterinarians and doctors used to dealing with birth complications in humans. The team included an OB/GYN, surgeons and anesthesiologists from hospitals affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University, as well as the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
After an hour and a half, the team managed to extract the baby boy with forceps and an episiotomy, a procedure to increase the opening during birth. "It was a day of anxiety and drama at the zoo, but it was hugely satisfying in the end," said Andy Baker, director of operations at the zoo.
There have been several successful gorilla births by cesarean section in recent years. But assisted vaginal birth is rare, according to the zoo. Kira was reunited with her baby on Saturday morning, and has been cradling and taking care of him the whole time. This is Kira's first birth, who comes from the western area of the African forests. Her species features on the list of critically endangered species.