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London — A mother gorilla and her baby are doing fine in a British zoo after a very rare delivery by emergency cesarean surgery.

The infant was born 11 days ago by surgical intervention after the mother showed signs of a potentially life-threatening illness.

Bristol Zoo officials said Tuesday the as-yet unnamed female baby needed help breathing at first but is now doing well and being treated around-the-clock by experienced gorilla keepers. The baby’s mother, Kera, is also recovering.

The baby was delivered by Prof. David Cahill, a gynecologist experienced at delivering human babies by cesarean. It was the first time he had used the procedure to deliver a gorilla.

He said there were signs the baby was unwell in her mother’s uterus and needed to be delivered as quickly as possible.

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