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Mom delivers baby girl on path at upstate NY zoo with help of keepers

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jnelsoninjax    8,963

Syracuse, NY ? There?s nothing new about babies being born at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

But on Friday the new arrival was a human girl.

Zoo Education Coordinator Liz Schmidt was at the reindeer exhibit teaching three five-year-olds and their parents about reindeer when a call came over her radio at about 11 a.m. A woman was in labor about 500 yards away on the wildlife path near the bear exhibit.

?I honestly didn?t expect her to deliver at the zoo,? Schmidt said this afternoon. ?I thought we?d pop her in a wheelchair and she?d be good to go to the hospital.?

It was obvious to Schmidt when she arrived that the baby had other ideas.

The woman had been touring the zoo with a group of five to seven adults and children when she went into labor, Schmidt said. An adult lead the children away to go look at the lions, as the woman was giving birth, she said.

As a first responder, Schmidt has taken courses in all aspects of first aid, including delivering babies. But she doesn?t carry medical equipment or blankets with her on her daily job, she said.

When she arrived, Schmidt immediately radioed out for back up and blankets.

The birth moved quickly from there, she said.

?As I came on the scene, the baby was pretty much on its way out,? said Zookeeper Sarah Kohler, who was the next to arrive on the scene.

The little girl didn?t cry at first, Kohler said.

While her colleague cared for mom, Kohler said her job was to make sure the baby was breathing and doing well.

?Our main concern was to keep the mom and baby warm,? she said.

Members of the woman?s group and zoo staff provided articles of clothing to keep mother and daughter warm. The baby and zoo staff carrying blankets arrived at about the same time, Schmidt said.

John Moakler, the zoo?s elephant collection manager, provided crowd control shooing zoo guests to other exhibits as the woman gave birth. He also directed the ambulance crew to the scene.

A member of the woman?s family called the Onondaga County 911 center requesting an ambulance, and a Rural Metro dispatch supervisor provided directions over the phone as the 21-year-old woman gave birth, said Melissa Fleischmann, speaking for the ambulance service.

Rural Metro took mother and daughter to Crouse Hospital, she said.

Crouse spokesman Bob Allen confirmed that the woman was in the hospital. For privacy reasons he could not discuss the condition of the mother or her daughter.

Fleischmann praised the zoo staff for their hard work.

?Our crew said they did a fantastic job,? she said.

Zoo Director Ted Fox said he, county parks Commissioner William Lansley, and county Executive Joanie Mahoney were proud of the zoo staff.

?Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Hopefully the baby and mom are doing well,? he said.

The zoo plans to send a baby gift to the family, ?I?m sure it will be animal related,? Fox said.

?It?s certainly been a bumper crop at the zoo for babies,? he said. ?It?s following suit with the human species.?


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remixedcat    2,766

happy birthday to you!

you were born in a zoo!

you cry like a monkey!

and you look like one too!

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*RedBull*    608

:o oh no you didn't !!!

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