C-sections are fairly common in human births, but it's rare to hear about them in the animal kingdom.
That's why San Diego Zoo Safari Park officials are touting the birth of a brand new baby gorilla, courtesy of an emergency c-section.
According to park officials, 18-year-old gorilla Imani went into labor Wednesday morning.
However, by that evening, she showed no signs of progress, so veterinary staff took her to the Safari Park veterinary hospital for a emergency surgery.
"In retrospect the c-section was the right decision," said the park’s Associate Director of Veterinary Services Nadine Lamberski in a release. "We think the health of the fetus would have been compromised if we delayed the surgery any longer.”
The operation was done by a San Diego Zoo Global team and outside consultants, including a veterinary surgeon and human neonatal specialist from UC San Diego Medical Center.
The 4.6-pound gorilla baby showed complications that veterinarians believe is related to a difficult labor, zoo officials say.
The little girl is in intensive care at the veterinary hospital, receiving oxygen and extra fluids, and her mother Imani is recovering from surgery in the gorilla bedroom area.
The baby is Imani’s first baby, and she’s the 17th to be born at the safari park, which now houses eight gorillas.
Two of the males were also born in San Diego: Monroe in 2011 and Frank in 2008.