Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Lives Saved: Tiny Baby Gorilla Born by Rare Caesarean

by /  / Updated  / Source: Reuters

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

A baby gorilla has been delivered by a rare caesarean section at a British zoo in an operation performed by a hospital gynecologist, the zoo said on Tuesday.

Vets at Bristol zoo in western England called in expert medical help after the mother Kera showed signs of potentially life-threatening pre-eclampsia.

Professor David Cahill, a gynecologist at a nearby hospital who has delivered hundreds of babies by caesarean but never a gorilla, was drafted in to perform the operation, one of just a handful ever carried out worldwide.

A caesarean section is carried out on Kera, a Western lowland gorilla, from the Bristol Zoo, in England on Feb. 12.Bristol Zoo via Reuters / via Reuters

"Along with having my own children, this is probably one of the biggest achievements of my life and something I will certainly never forget," he said in a statement. "I have since been back to visit Kera and the baby gorilla, it was wonderful to see them both doing so well."

The baby girl gorilla weighed just over a kilogram (2 lbs 10oz) at birth on February 12. She initially needed help from vets to breathe independently but is now doing well after being hand-reared around the clock by keepers, the zoo said.

The female gorilla, that was delivered after the mother, Kera, a critically-endangered Western lowland gorilla, showed symptoms of potentially life-threatening pre-eclampsia photo made availabale on Feb. 23.Bristol Zoo via EPA / via EPA

"The birth of any gorilla is a rare and exciting event; but the birth of a baby gorilla by caesarean section is even more unusual," said John Partridge, the zoo's senior curator of animals.

"It wasn't a decision that we took lightly - Kera was becoming quite poorly and we needed to act fast in order to give the best possible treatment to mother and baby, and to avoid the possibility of losing the baby."

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.