San Diego Zoo's Baby Gorilla Fights Pneumonia

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A baby gorilla born by emergency C-section last Wednesday is now struggling to combat pneumonia at the San Diego Zoo. Zoo officials believe the gorilla may have contracted it during birth, as reported by ABC News.

The female baby, not yet named, was born to first time 18-year-old mother Imani. She is now under round-the-clock care of zoo veterinarians and human neonatal specialists.

"We've been working with the baby all weekend and after having several days of experience treating her, it's pretty obvious that we've been dealing with pneumonia," said Nadine Lamberski, associate director of veterinary services at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

The rare emergency surgery was performed when Imani was distressed after going into labor. The mother gorilla was in labor for 12 hours before the medical team stepped in, and has since returned to her troop where she is being closely monitored.

"With gorillas, that's very unusual," zoo spokeswoman Christina Simmons said. "Four hours is long for them."

The baby gorilla is receiving oxygen and fluids and seems to be "doing better today," according to a zoo spokeswoman. The medical team in charge of her care has been keeping close tabs on her progress.

"I would say that there are two things that differentiate her in how she acts compared to most babies that I take care of," Dr. Dawn Reeves, a neonatologist from the UC San Diego Health System. "First, she's a lot stronger when she grabs your hand. It's very difficult to release her grip because that's her instinct: to grab her mom. Second, she can grab you with both her hands and her feet, which can be a little troublesome when trying to do procedures or exams. Otherwise, she behaves very well."

MORE ON PAWNATION: Baby Animals of February 2014

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She is at the San Diego Zoo's SAFARI PARK, not the zoo downtown. They have the best medical facility in the country. Mom also lives at the safari park.

March 20 2014 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

absolutely beautiful baby, she will get better every day, especially, for the medical team that is taking care of her.

March 20 2014 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

She is so cute, I hope she gets better soon.

March 20 2014 at 9:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Precious little baby I too hope you will be well soon .. you are so cute and loveable..

March 20 2014 at 8:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Adorable baby, I pray she gets to feel better soon.

March 20 2014 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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