SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Zoo Safari Park Monday celebrated the second birthday of a western lowland gorilla born via an emergency Caesarean section due to her mother's problems during labor.
Joanne was given a cake made of flavored ice and decorated with yam paste, grapes, raisins, strawberries and greens. The staff also made cupcakes with low-fat biscuits and gelatin and iced them with yam, and placed them around the Gorilla Forest habitat for all of the gorillas to enjoy.
She also played with and collected lettuce and popcorn, while her father, Winston, claimed her birthday cake as his own, eating all the treats off of it and leaving just the ice formations behind.
The gorilla was born March 12, 2014, and spent 11 days undergoing intense medical care, according to the zoo.
Animal keepers said Joanne is healthy and active. Keepers described her as "sweet and sassy," and say she is fearless, often wrestling, running and playing with her two favorite male troop-mates, 4-year-old Monroe and 7-year- old Frank.
Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered, according to the zoo. In the wild, primary threats include habitat loss due to farming, grazing, and expanding human settlements as well as the illegal bushmeat trade.