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Baby gorilla recovering from serious illness

The San Diego Zoo’s unnamed baby gorilla was bottle-fed until she met her mother after 12 days. (Tammy Spratt/Associated Press)

The San Diego Zoo says an infant gorilla that was successfully treated for pneumonia after her delivery is in her mother’s arms for the first time.

Zoo officials say the female, who was born March 12, was physically introduced to her mother, Imani, on Monday. Since then, the 18-year-old Imani has been constantly cradling and carrying her baby.

The new mom began nursing three hours after meeting the baby. The zoo staff will monitor the baby to make sure the newborn receives enough nutrition.

Nadine Lamberski, associate director of veterinary services at the zoo’s Safari Park, said last week that the unnamed gorilla is developing quickly and normally after undergoing surgery for a collapsed lung. She had been bottle-fed before she was introduced to her mother.

Zoo veterinarians delivered the baby March 12 by Caesarean section — that’s a kind of surgery — after Imani went into labor but was unable to complete the delivery. The baby is the 17th gorilla born at Safari Park.

Wire reports

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