But it did not happen quickly at all. Poor thing. She had started labor at around 7:30 in the morning and was still in that condition at zoo closing time, and all the way through to Sunday morning. Things appeared to be going well, but eventually it was just taking too long, and she needed to be sent off for care. Zookeepers rejoiced when the sonogram showed a beating heart; preparations were made for surgery when it became clear this was the best option. Acacia is a very small gorilla and this being her first delivery, that birth canal was perhaps just a little too narrow for the simple delivery we all had hoped for.
Surgery was successful and Acacia was doing well when I left the zoo Sunday at closing time. She had woken up from anasthesia and was recovering well, as the mother of a healthy and strong baby boy. Naturally, I have no mother-and-newborn photos to show you, because all this has happened behind the scenes. The hope is that Acacia will be able to nurse through her recovery and keep and raise the baby, but of course, she's got an incision now, which will need to heal. This won't be easy for her, but let's hope she can manage. It would break my heart if Acacia were unable to mother her own baby. In the gorilla world, the moms have increased status and seem to get a little more respect in the troop and I would like to see Acacia follow that path. She's been a bit of a loner in all the time I have been visiting, often going off by herself when the two moms Jamani and Olympia are busy looking after Bomassa and Apollo. I have been hoping this birth would result in Acacia being able to join in the important work of mothering.
|Acacia has been an affectionate auntie for Bomassa|
|Olympia might be willing to care the new baby if needed|
Let's keep Acacia and Baby in our thoughts this week in these critical early days!