Meet Joanne, the San Diego Zoo’s Growing Baby Gorilla

PHOTO: Joanne, who was born by C-section, hangs on to her mom, Imani.
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They grow up so fast.

Remember the baby gorilla born by C-section at the San Diego Zoo? Well, the 16-week-old girl is already rolling over, sitting up and scooting forward. She’s even cut her first teeth.

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The baby, named Joanne after the first chairwoman of the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global, Joanne Warren, is becoming more independent, according to zoo officials. But she’s still pretty attached to her mom, Imani, riding on her back as she forages for food.

"While Imani is eating browse, we've seen Joanne grab a handful and mouth it," zookeeper Jami Pawlowski, said in a statement, referring to the spiny plant, acacia browse. "She's got about six teeth now so it's not quite enough to chew browse, but she definitely mouths and will suck on it.”

“Anything big and attractive that her mom is holding, Joanne will try to investigate," Pawlowski added.

PHOTO: A baby gorilla was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park via a rare c-section.
ABC News
PHOTO: A baby gorilla was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park via a rare c-section.

Joanne was born March 12 after a rare emergency C-section. She weighed 4.6 pounds at birth and had to be nursed through a bout of pneumonia and a collapsed lung by a team of vets as her mom recovered from surgery. She's expected grow to a whopping 200 pounds.

PHOTO: A baby gorilla was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park via a rare c-section.
ABC News
PHOTO: A baby gorilla was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park via a rare c-section.

Most baby gorillas walk within six months, according to the National Zoo, and they’re ready to leave their moms by age 3.

PHOTO: The 8-day-old gorilla at San Diego Zoo Safari Park is showing great improvement after a rare c-section birth: she is now strong enough to breathe on her own, and veterinary staff were able to start giving the gorilla bottles with a milk formula.
Tammy Spratt/San Diego Zoo Safari Park
PHOTO: The 8-day-old gorilla at San Diego Zoo Safari Park is showing great improvement after a rare c-section birth: she is now strong enough to breathe on her own, and veterinary staff were able to start giving the gorilla bottles with a milk formula.

By age 7, female gorillas are ready to have families of their own.

The typical lifespan for gorillas in zoos is 54 years.

PHOTO: Imani, a Gorilla at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, holds her newborn daughter, Mar. 25, 2014.
Tammy Spratt/San Diego Zoo Safari Park
PHOTO: Imani, a Gorilla at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, holds her newborn daughter, Mar. 25, 2014.

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