Doctors help a gorilla - level 3

Doctors help a gorilla - level 3

24-03-2014 15:00

This gorgeous little baby gorilla has not had the easiest start to life. After being born by an emergency caesarian, she then had to have a critical operation for a collapsed lung.

A team of veterinary staff from San Diego Zoo had to take the unusual step of asking for help from human neonatal specialists from the University of California.

“I never anticipated that I would have to care for a gorilla, but all of my work that I’ve done with human babies is identical to what I’m doing with this baby. There are maybe two things that differentiates her. It’s that she’s a lot stronger when she grabs your hand, it’s very difficult to release her grip, because she’s used to that, that’s her instinct to grab her mom. And she can grab you with both her hands and her feet. And so, that’s been particularly troublesome, trying to sometimes do procedures and exams on her, but otherwise, she behaves very well.”

Luckily, she seems to have come through fighting, and is making a speedy recovery.

Mommy gorilla is doing surprisingly well, too. Despite the complicated birth and surgery, she’s already up and about in her usual habitat. Keepers hope to be able to reunite the baby with her family when she’s strong enough.

Difficult words: gorgeous (extremely beautiful), caesarian (operation in which a woman's body is cut open to take a baby out), collapsed (fallen inwards and flat), neonatal (relating to newborn babies), anticipate (expect), habitat (environment).

How often do you visit a zoo?

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