SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A baby gorilla was born by cesarean section at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and is undergoing treatment at the facility's veterinary center, zoo officials announced Thursday.
The female newborn is the first offspring for 18-year-old Imani.
Zoo officials said Imani began showing signs of labor Wednesday morning, but no indication of progress was seen later in the day, so it was decided to have her undergo the c-section.
The full-term baby, weighing 4.6 pounds, was delivered at 6:30 p.m. by a team of San Diego Zoo Global staff and outside consultants, including a veterinary surgeon and human neonatal specialists from UCSD Medical Center.
The newborn is showing some complications believed to be related to the difficult labor, and she is receiving oxygen and supplemental fluids at the veterinary hospital, according to zoo reports.
"In retrospect the c-section was the right decision," Safari Park Associate Director of Veterinary Services Nadine Lamberski said. "We think the health of the fetus would have been compromised if we delayed the surgery any longer."
Officials at the park said Imani was recovering in the gorilla bedroom area.
The baby is the 17th gorilla to be born at the Safari Park, now home to eight members of the species, including the newborn.