Gorilla Gives Birth in Emergency Delivery by Team of Vets at Zoo

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It was a life or death emergency at the Philadelphia Zoo this week as a gorilla went into labor.

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Vets decided they needed to perform an emergency delivery on Kira, a 17-year-old endangered gorilla in the zoo, to save the lives of both the mother and her newborn.

"If she had tried to deliver the baby on her own at that point, that would not have happened and we would have had likely both the death of the infant and Kira," Andy Baker, Ph.D., who helped deliver the baby, told InsideEdition.com.

Gorillas usually birth their young quickly, sometimes in just a matter of minutes, but Kira was in labor for 24 hours. 

Read: Koko the Gorilla Fosters Trio of 2-Month-Old Kittens

Kira was transported to an operating room at the zoo as a team of top vets was on hand to nudge the birthing process forward.

She gave birth to a healthy male, which has not yet been named.

Watch: Children's Hospital Conducts Hearing Test on Gorilla After Keepers Suspected She Was Deaf