On June 2 the Philadelphia Zoo welcomed a new member to their family, a healthy five-pound baby gorilla.

Along with the birth announcement, the zoo noted that while the birth is cause for celebration, it wasn’t so easy bringing the male Western Lowland gorilla into the world. In a video shared on the zoo’s social media accounts, they recounted the difficult delivery the 17-year-old, first-time mom, Kira, endured.

On June 1, Kira went into labor, but when Kira didn’t give birth after a full day, veterinarians had to call for help.

According to a post on the zoo’s website, Kira appeared tired and it looked as though her condition was worsening, which was unusual because gorillas usually give birth rather quickly. So they knew it was time to ask for assistance.

The Philadelphia Zoo staff already had a predetermined team of human doctors consisting of an OG-GYN, anesthesiologist, and surgeon on standby. Within a short amount of time the team of human doctors and veterinarians were able to work together and perform a delivery similar to delivering a regular baby.

The team worked together and within one and a half hours, Kira had delivered a baby boy.

Since Kira had anesthesia for the birth, she needed time to recover, so veterinary staff cared for the baby gorilla for the first several hours and during the night. The zoo reported that the next morning Kira was feeling much better and “was quickly reunited with her new baby, and has been continuously cradling and nursing him since.”


In the statement posted on the zoo’s website, Dr. Andy Baker, Philadelphia Zoo’s Chief Operating Officer, called the birth of Kira’s baby boy an “important birth” and believes that it is an opportunity to engage the world in caring about the future of gorillas in the wild.”

The video below shows the birth of the gorilla, which some may find graphic.

Philadelphia Zoo Welcomes Baby Gorilla

Philadelphia Zoo welcomed a new addition to the family: a western lowland gorilla baby born to Kira, the Zoo’s 17-year-old female and 32-year old silverback, Motuba, on Friday, June 2nd. After prolonged labor, human doctors were called to aid zoo veterinarians and perform an assisted delivery with forceps – a rare occurrence when delivering a gorilla baby. Learn more about the expert team of doctors and this extraordinary delivery. http://bit.ly/pzgorillababy

Posted by Philadelphia Zoo on Tuesday, June 6, 2017

(H/T: CBS Philly)