Published: Mar 14, 2014 2:33 PM EDT

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Veterinarians at the San Diego Zoo have performed a rare cesarean section on an 18-year-old gorilla.
    
Zoo spokeswoman Christina Simmons said the female baby gorilla was in guarded condition Friday, having suffered complications from the birth Wednesday night at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
    
The full-term baby gorilla weighed 4.6 pounds.
    
Simmons said it was the first time veterinarians at the zoo performed the procedure on a gorilla.
    
The mother gorilla, named Imani, had never given birth and was in distress after going into labor.
    
Veterinarians were joined by neonatal specialists from University of California San Diego Medical Center.
    
The baby was the 17th gorilla born at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which is home to eight gorillas, including the new baby.

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