SAN DIEGO – Nearly two weeks after giving birth via cesarean section at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, a gorilla held her baby for the first time.
According to KSWB, Imani physically met her daugher Monday after animal care staff placed the 12-day-old unnamed gorilla on a soft hay pile.
Zoo officials said “Imani has been extremely attached, holding and constantly carrying around the young gorilla.”
Zoo employees are very excited that the transition is going so well.
“Initially she was just carrying the baby, she never set the baby down,” said Andrew Stallard, animal care supervisor at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “About three hours in, she began nursing the baby. After about a five-minute bout, the baby fell asleep, which is exactly what we were looking for, so we were really excited!”
Although the baby gorilla was seen nursing, the staff will continue to monitor the infant closely to make sure she is getting the nutrition she needs.
Since being reunited with her child, the mother and baby gorilla ventured outdoors for the first time this morning.
This was also the first time the other gorillas in the troop were able to be in close proximity with the mother and baby.
San Diego Zoo officials stated that the other gorillas appeared remotely curious about the baby, espcially the 2-year-old male.
The baby girl gorilla was born after an emergency C-section on March 12.
Afterwards the baby gorilla was hospitalized showing complications believed to be related to the difficult labor.
She received oxygen and supplemental fluids and underwent treatment for a collapsed lung and pneumonia.