An Adorable Baby Gorilla Has Been Born By Caesarean In The UK

A western lowland gorilla with her baby REX FEATURES

A western lowland gorilla with her baby

So… there’s something utterly life affirming about hearing the birth story and seeing images of the delivery of Bristol Zoo’s newest resident, an adorable baby gorilla.

Here’s what went down:

Gynecologist and professor of reproductive medicine, David Cahill, did something he’d never done before on 12 February 2016. Despite having delivered hundreds of human babies throughout his career he had never helped bring a gorilla in to the world. It was a first for him, and a first for the UK.

This rare caesarean delivery on a gorilla, performed at Bristol Zoo, is the only one that has ever been done in the UK.

The staff at Bristol Zoo enlisted the help of professor Cahill when the baby gorilla’s mother, Kera, showed symptoms of pre-eclampsia. A condition that is potentially life-threatening and also affects pregnant humans.

The team charged with Kera’s care decided that although there have only ever been a handful of c-sections performed on gorillas worldwide, in this case emergency intervention was the best course of action.

The tiny gorilla who is female and weighs just over a kilo (2lbs 10oz) was in a critical condition in the moments immediately following the C-section and needed emergency resuscitation.

Watch footage of the little gorilla's remarkable delivery:

However, the baby (who’s yet to be named) and her mother are both now doing well and being cared for around the clock by the staff at Bristol Zoo.

“Along with having my own children, this is probably one of the biggest achievements of my life and something I will certainly never forget” said professor Cahill.

Kera and her baby are western lowland gorillas, native to central Africa. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature considers western lowland gorillas ‘critically endangered’. They inhabit some of the most remote and dense rainforest and gorillas are increasingly at threat due to hunting and destruction of their habitat. WWF estimates the gorilla’s numbers have declined by more than 60% over the last 20 to 25 years.


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Sunday 28 August

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