Medical Docs Deliver Baby – At the Zoo

Normally, when a gorilla gives birth at The Philadelphia Zoo, zookeepers allow nature to take its course – just like it does in the wild. But last month, lowland gorilla Kira went into labor and started showing signs of a problem. That’s when medical doctors and veterinarians were called in – and everyone stepped up to help deliver this mother’s baby.

Although Kira didn’t need a caesarian section, the team of OB/GYNs, surgeons and anesthesiologists from Thomas Jefferson University, The University of Pennsylvania, Presbyterian Hospital and The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinarian Medicine assisted the mother gorilla using techniques commonly used in human deliveries. A little over an hour later, the team delivered a healthy, 5-pound baby boy.

After Kira fully recovered from the anesthesia, she was reunited with the baby, and the pair are now back with their gorilla troop at the PECO Primate Reserve. The newborn is the first for 17-year-old Kira and third for 32-year-old father Motuba.

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