An adorable baby gorilla was delivered via C-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ in Boston earlier this month, becoming the first male gorilla born at Franklin Park Zoo. The baby gorilla, a male, was born to his mother, Kiki, who had been showing signs of ᴘʀᴇ-ᴇᴄʟᴀᴍᴘsɪᴀ. This potentially ʟɪꜰᴇ-ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛᴇɴɪɴɢ condition affects pregnant women and can lead to sᴇɪᴢᴜʀᴇs, ᴋɪᴅɴᴇʏ ꜰᴀɪʟᴜʀᴇ, and other complications.
The decision to perform a ᴄ-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ on Kiki was not an easy one. The veterinary team at Zoo New England had to carefully consider the procedure’s ʀɪsᴋs and the potential impact on the mother and the baby. In the end, they decided that a ᴄ-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ was the best course of action to ensure the health and safety of both Kiki and her baby.
The yet unnamed baby boy was born on October 14 a healthy 6 pounds, 3 ounces, despite his mother Kiki having ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs and ʙʟᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ before the her due date. Gorillas are generally between three and five pounds at birth, making them above average.
Zoo New England shared a heartwarming video of the birth as they prepared Kiki for the ᴏᴘᴇʀᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. This is her fifth baby, having previously given birth to four girls, two of whom remain at the zoo. The pregnancy has been a result of her recommended ʙʀᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ with her mate, Kitombe.
In the days leading up to the delivery, vets with New England Zoo, who runs Franklin Park, discovered that Kiki had ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇɴᴛᴀ ᴘʀᴇᴠɪᴀ, according to Fox DC.
‘For the health of mom and baby, it was imperative to quickly diagnose Kiki’s condition and perform a C-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ before she went into labor on her own,’ explained Dr Eric Baitchman, Zoo New England Vice President of Animal Health and Conservation.
‘We were fortunate to quickly mobilize a fantastic team with our colleagues at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.
‘This was truly a team effort, and we are relieved and happy that the sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ went smoothly and that mom and baby are both safe and healthy,’ he added.
The first few weeks of the baby gorilla’s life were critical. He needed round-the-clock care and attention from the zoo’s veterinary team, who fed him every two hours, kept him warm and monitored his health closely. The team also had to carefully introduce the baby gorilla to his mother, Kiki, who had been recovering from the ᴄ-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ.
The zoo said they will also spend some more time bonding behind the scenes before they are placed on to the exhibit as is standard protocol.
It was difficult, as Kiki was confused and hesitant about bonding with her baby. However, with the help of the veterinary team, Kiki gradually started to accept her baby and began to care for him as any mother would. Today, the baby gorilla and Kiki are thriving and have become an important part of the New England Zoo’s gorilla community.
The successful delivery of the baby gorilla by ᴄ-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ. was an important milestone for the Columbus Zoo and the global gorilla population. It demonstrated the dedication and skill of the zoo’s veterinary team, who went above and beyond to ensure the health and safety of Kiki and her baby. It also highlighted the importance of conservation efforts to protect ᴇɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ species like gorillas, whose populations have declined due to habitat ʟᴏss, ᴘᴏᴀᴄʜɪɴɢ, and ᴏᴛʜᴇʀ ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛs.
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