It was all doctors on deck for gorilla birth at Philly Zoo

It was all doctors on deck for gorilla birth at Philly Zoo

This is the first birth for Kira and third offspring for 32-year old Motuba, who is also father to baby Amani, a female born at the zoo last August.

Gorilla labor is usually quick, and the mother doesn't show any signs of fatigue, distress or symptoms of feeling ill, the zoo explained.

Ayana, a Western lowland gorilla, was born in the early hours of April 22 to mother Touni and silverback gorilla father Jock. With Kira, however, staff at the zoo noticed she was growing exhausted after being in labor and were concerned for her health.

This is the gorgeous smile that a baby gorilla gave doctors after they helped his mother through a particularly hard labour.

"Our veterinary team had an advance plan in place that had us prepared for scenarios like this - and in this case that plan, and the skill of our keeper team, enabled a safe delivery for both Kira and her baby", Baker said.

After one and a half hours, the team delivered a healthy 5-lb. baby boy.

"We are very excited to welcome Kira's new baby", Dr. Andy Baker, Philadelphia Zoo's chief operating officer said in a statement.

Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Among the team were a gynaecologist, several surgeons and anaesthesiologists from hospitals affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University, as well as University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

While mom Kira was recovering from anesthesia, vet staff held and fed the newborn through the night. The mother and baby were reunited the following morning, and Kira was taken over mommy duty - cradling and nursing her son.

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