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Gorilla and baby doing well at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

March 25, 2014|By Tony Perry
  • A new mother gorilla at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park ventured outdoors for the first time with her 13-day-old baby girl. The mother, Imani, and baby were only physically introduced to each other a day earlier.
A new mother gorilla at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park ventured outdoors for… (Tammy Spratt / San Diego…)

SAN DIEGO -- More improvement was reported Tuesday from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in the saga of gorilla Imani and her 13-day-old baby.

Both have had their medical challenges. Imani needed a Caesarian-section to deliver. Her baby underwent surgery for a collapsed lung and then treatment for pneumonia.

On Monday, the pair were in contact for the first time. And on Tuesday, they walked into their outdoor exhibit with other gorillas -- an adult male, three adult females, and two young males -- watching from a distance.

At 18, Imani was old for a first-time gorilla mother. Zookeepers worried whether she would have the necessary maternal instinct.

That concern is receding. "Since the physical introduction occurred, Imani has been extremely attached, holding and constantly carrying her infant," zookeepers said.

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Twitter: @LATsandiego

tony.perry@latimes.com

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