Caesarean delivery of a Western Lowland gorilla with fetal distress and suspected pre-eclampsia

Sophie L. Walter, Aamna Ali, Rowena Killick, Charlotte Day, Michelle Barrows, David J. Cahill


Pre-eclampsia is a well-recognised complication of human pregnancy however case reports suggest that it also affects non-human primates. The authors present the case of a primigravid western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) who developed behavioural changes, significant proteinuria, and ultrasound features of suspected fetal distress at term, three days prior to her estimated due date. A working diagnosis of pre-eclampsia was made, and the baby was delivered by emergency caesarean section. In spite of a prolonged recovery complicated by sepsis, anaemia and persistent proteinuria in the mother, both mother and baby made a good recovery. This case highlights how the application of basic principles of obstetric medicine and collaboration between obstetricians and veterinarians in the care of captive gorillas resulted in the successful management of pregnancy complications.


Cesarean, Gorilla, Pre-eclampsia

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