A baby gorilla is “doing well” after being born in a very rare emergency caesarean.
She was delivered after her mother showed symptoms of potentially life-threatening pre-eclampsia.
The baby, which is yet to be named, was born at Bristol Zoo Gardens weighing just over 2lbs 10oz (1kg).
John Partridge, senior curator of animals, said the baby gorilla – whose father is Komale – was not yet on show to the public.
“The birth of any gorilla is a rare and exciting event but the birth of a baby gorilla by caesarean section is even more unusual,” he said.
“It wasn”t a decision that we took lightly – Kera was becoming quite poorly and we needed to act fast in order to give the best possible treatment to mother and baby and to avoid the possibility of losing the baby.”
Prof David Cahill of Bristol University said: “Along with having my own children, this is probably one of the biggest achievements of my life and something I will certainly never forget.
“I have since been back to visit Kera and the baby gorilla, it was wonderful to see them both doing so well.”
She is now being hand-reared round the clock by a small team of experienced gorilla keepers.
Only a handful of gorillas have been born by caesarean worldwide.