(SAN DIEGO) — The 8-day-old gorilla born through a rare C-section birth at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is “showing great improvement” and has finished her pneumonia treatment, according to a Safari Park statement Wednesday.
The gorilla was born a little more than a week ago to an 18-year-old mother, Imani, and has yet to be named. After the abnormally long, 12-hour labor, the baby gorilla was delivered through C-section and developed pneumonia. Since then, she’s been in critical condition, but the park Wednesday said the baby is making big steps on the road to recovery.
New video released by the San Diego Zoo showed the baby gorilla sucking her thumb, drinking from a bottle, and snuggling with the animal care staff.
The gorilla is now healthy enough to breathe on her own and has normal vital signs.
“For those who have been following the gorilla closely you’ll notice she’s got a lot more hair and we think that she’s really doing well on the (infant) formula,” said Dr. Nadine Lamberski, associate director of veterinary services at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “She’s getting a lot of calories and you can see that she changes every day. She’s developing normally and very rapidly.”
The baby gorilla will be monitored with around-the-clock care to make sure she continues getting stronger.
As for the first-time mother, Imani is also improving and is now back in her familiar habitat. The animal care staff will also be monitoring Imani to ensure she fully recovers from her emergency C-section.
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Susan Scutti, CNN
Josh Friesen, Idaho State Journal
Karen Lehr, KIVI