updated 03/23/2014 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/23/2014 AT 5:30 PM ET
It was a happy ending, after all, following a week of medical treatments and constant scrutiny.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s baby gorilla, born via emergency C-section on March 12, was introduced to her mother, Imani, and other members of her gorilla family on Friday.
It’s the first time the baby has had visual interaction with other gorillas or even left the veterinary hospital, according to a description of the video (watch above). In fact, just a week prior to this introduction, she was undergoing surgery for a collapsed lung. When staff determined she had pneumonia, she stayed under intense veterinary care.
Now that she’s on the mend and showing significant improvement – the baby’s breathing on her own and slurping down milk formula – this introduction is the first step to reintegrate Imani’s little one with the Safari Park gorilla troop.
As keepers continue to monitor the baby in a special bedroom-like area, the other gorillas can now familiarize themselves with the zoo’s new addition through a protective barrier.
“Veterinary staff felt confident in the baby’s health to release her from the hospital,” senior keeper Matt Gelvin said. “Everyone is very excited to see the baby – very curious.”