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Texas Zoo Welcomes Third Gorilla In 115 Years

via Fort Worth Zoo
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A pregnant gorilla named Sekani at a Texas zoo had to undergo an emergency C-section due to life-threatening complications.

The premature baby gorilla was delivered successfully with the help of medical doctors.

“It is an honor and privilege to assist with care for this endangered species and to share my expertise with the veterinary staff at the Fort Worth Zoo,” Dr. Jamie Walker Erwin said.

Despite the emergency procedure, Sekani showed little interest in caring for her newborn, leading zoo employees to raise the baby themselves.

“It was incredible how similar this mother-infant pair was compared to what I see in the hospital for babies born under similar circumstances,” Neonatologist Dr. Robert Ursprung said.

They have now decided to train another female gorilla named Gracie to be a surrogate mother to the baby, named Jameela, which means “beautiful” in Swahili.

“Zookeepers are hopeful Gracie will be an ideal surrogate mother, exhibiting maternal behaviors that will be necessary for the baby to thrive: holding and carrying of the infant, protection, cooperation with zookeepers during feeding time and teaching the little one necessary social skills she needs to be a gorilla,” the zoo stated.

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