An adorable baby gorilla born via C-section at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park spent the first 12 days of her life being cared for by what seems like an amazing, nurturing staff. She has been bottle-fed, cuddled, and snuggled back to good health. But it was evident from the second she was placed back into the cage where her mother -- an 18-year-old named Imani -- was waiting for her that she and mom were meant to be together! Mom immediately approached her daughter, sniffed her a few times, and then picked her up after a few seconds to begin the bonding process. Awww! And, even better: the entire introduction was caught on video.
After 12 hours in labor, poor Imani wasn't able to deliver her baby naturally and was given a cesarean section. But the little girl, who was born weighing 4.6 pounds, emerged with a few health problems that needed to be addressed prior to her being placed back in mom's care. She had a collapsed lung and pneumonia and was nursed back to good health by doctors and zoo staff.
Just one week later, the baby was off an oxygen tank, more alert, aware, had grown hair, and was eating better. So it was time to reunite her with her mommy!
Judging by the video, it seems Imani's maternal instincts kicked in as soon as she saw her baby. She cradled, rocked, and walked her around the cage, and then -- miraculously -- was even able to nurse her child just three hours later. Yay for mom and baby!
Here is a video of the zoo staff caring for this adorable creature:
And here's actual footage of the baby gorilla's reunion with mom:
Are you at all surprised Imani effortlessly assumed her role as mom as soon as she saw her baby?
Image via YouTube