Baby gorilla, mom venture outside for first time

A baby gorilla born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park nearly two weeks ago was taken outside by her mother for the first time Tuesday.

It was the first time that most of the members of the park's gorilla troop saw the newborn up close. A 5-year-old male who is close to the mother, Imani, was allowed to view her Monday.

The baby was born March 12 via emergency cesarean section and survived a subsequent bout of pneumonia while under round-the-clock care by park staff and a team from UC San Diego Health.

The animal care team offered Imani access to the outdoor exhibit, with the remainder of the gorilla troop coming outside shortly afterward.

Zoo officials said the mother walked into the exhibit, cradling her baby, and began foraging and eating some greens. She then found a warm alcove and nursed her offspring.

The other gorillas -- an adult male, three adult females, and two young males -- appeared remotely curious about the baby, with Monroe, a 2-year-old male, showing the most interest, zookeepers said.

They said that since Imani and her daughter were physically reunited Monday, they have been extremely attached, with Imani holding and constantly carrying her infant.

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