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Baby Gorilla Born by C-Section Battling Pneumonia

ABC News(SAN DIEGO) -- A baby gorilla born by emergency C-section on March 12 at the San Diego Zoo is battling pneumonia, zoo officials said Tuesday.

The baby girl, who has yet to be named, is under the 24-hour care of zoo veterinarians and human neonatal specialists from UC San Diego Health System, according to a statement.

“We’ve been working with the baby all weekend and after having several days of experience treating her, it’s pretty obvious that we’ve been dealing with pneumonia,” Nadine Lamberski, associate director of veterinary services at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, said in a statement.

The baby is “doing better today,” according to a zoo spokeswoman, receiving oxygen, fluids and plenty of cuddles from her caregivers.

“I would say that there are two things that differentiate her in how she acts compared to most babies that I take care of,” Dr. Dawn Reeves, a neonatologist with UC San Diego Health System, said in a statement. “First, she’s a lot stronger when she grabs your hand. It’s very difficult to release her grip because that’s her instinct: to grab her mom. …Second, she can grab you with both her hands and her feet, which can be a little troublesome when trying to do procedures or exams.”

“Otherwise she behaves very well,” Reeves added.

The baby’s mom, 18-year-old Imani, is back with her troop but being closely monitored as she recovers from her C-section. Imani was in labor for an unusually long 12 hours before the operation.

“With gorillas, that’s very unusual,” zoo spokeswoman Christina Simmons told ABC News. “Four hours is long for them.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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