Lake Charles native plays role in rare gorilla C-section - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lake Charles native plays role in rare gorilla C-section

Dr. Dawn Reeves assisting in a rare C-section on a gorilla at the San Diego Zoo on March 12 (Source: San Diego Zoo Safari Park) Dr. Dawn Reeves assisting in a rare C-section on a gorilla at the San Diego Zoo on March 12 (Source: San Diego Zoo Safari Park)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Dr. Dawn Reeves of Lake Charles is a neonatologist with the University of California in San Diego. She's trained to care for newborn humans, but a rare need for a gorilla C-section at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and a strong love for animals had her ready to help.

"I'm a huge advocate for animals," said Dr. Reeves. "Anyone that knows me knows I have a special place in my heart for all species."

Reeves' primary job involves newborn babies. Her family resides primarily in Lake Charles as well as the Ragley and Reeves area.

Reeves started at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock and trained in neonatal and pediatric care at the Arkansas Children's Hospital, but it was her job at the University of California in San Diego that got her on board to help a baby gorilla in need.

"I arrived at the zoo thinking that my only involvement was going to be the initial resuscitation of the baby once she was delivered," said Reeves. "As things progressed, my role sort of expanded as more of a consultant to help make decisions on how to care for a critically ill baby."

The baby gorilla, which is now battling pneumonia, is under 24-hour care of zoo veterinarians and other human neonatal specialists and Reeves role in her recovery is vital.

"We sort of worked together as a team to make decisions on how to best ventilate the baby on oxygen, on medication, on fluid status in labs," said Reeves. "My role was to help the veterinarians interpret the baby's status and give them input on what's the next step."

Reeves also says her help in the baby gorilla's road to recovery is more than just work.

"It's just a great story of a love for animals and the basic physiology and how people are coming together to help make sure these babies are taken care of as well," said Reeves.

Reeves says the baby gorilla, who has yet to be named, is showing signs of improvement and is requiring less supervision as she recovers.

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Lake Charles to offer "Stop the Bleed" training

    Lake Charles to offer "Stop the Bleed" training

    Monday, April 23 2018 12:30 AM EDT2018-04-23 04:30:43 GMT
    "Stop the Bleed" is a program to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. (Source: City of Lake Charles)"Stop the Bleed" is a program to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. (Source: City of Lake Charles)

    Lake Charles will host a series of "Stop the Bleed" training according to Matt Young, city spokesman. The first training will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 20 at the Calcasieu Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness located at 901 Lakeshore Drive. The free program is to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. Young says approximately 75 tr...

    More >>

    Lake Charles will host a series of "Stop the Bleed" training according to Matt Young, city spokesman. The first training will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 20 at the Calcasieu Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness located at 901 Lakeshore Drive. The free program is to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. Young says approximately 75 tr...

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Clouds clearing tonight, then beautiful weather to start the week

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Clouds clearing tonight, then beautiful weather to start the week

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:34 PM EDT2018-04-22 21:34:48 GMT
    Sunshine returns this weekSunshine returns this week
    Sunshine returns this weekSunshine returns this week

    Tonight, it will be very pleasant outside. There will be no chance for rain, and the clouds will continue to clear. With the clouds going away, that will allow temperatures to cool down overnight. Lows will be in the mid 50s. You may need a jacket as you head out the door Monday morning. Monday and Tuesday next week will be very nice to get outside. After the cold front pushes past us over the weekend, there should be plenty of sunshine. Although a few clouds are possible.

    More >>

    Tonight, it will be very pleasant outside. There will be no chance for rain, and the clouds will continue to clear. With the clouds going away, that will allow temperatures to cool down overnight. Lows will be in the mid 50s. You may need a jacket as you head out the door Monday morning. Monday and Tuesday next week will be very nice to get outside. After the cold front pushes past us over the weekend, there should be plenty of sunshine. Although a few clouds are possible.

    More >>
  • F.K. White Middle School hopes to grow opportunities with teaching garden

    F.K. White Middle School hopes to grow opportunities with teaching garden

    Sunday, April 22 2018 11:30 AM EDT2018-04-22 15:30:47 GMT
    F.K. White Middle School in Lake Charles is hoping to grow new opportunities with their new teaching garden that started with just a seed of an idea. "One of our science teachers Amanda LaBove has this idea with John O'Donnell who works for Healthier Southwest Louisiana," said Jessica Woolmington, an art teacher at the school. "He approached me and then Amanda as well and said, 'Hey, we need to do this. We should've started this yesterday, so let's get on it,' and we d...More >>
    F.K. White Middle School in Lake Charles is hoping to grow new opportunities with their new teaching garden that started with just a seed of an idea. "One of our science teachers Amanda LaBove has this idea with John O'Donnell who works for Healthier Southwest Louisiana," said Jessica Woolmington, an art teacher at the school. "He approached me and then Amanda as well and said, 'Hey, we need to do this. We should've started this yesterday, so let's get on it,' and we d...More >>
Powered by Frankly