Zoo Education Coordinator Liz Schmidt said she was teaching about reindeer to preschool children and their parents at Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse when she received a call about a woman, 21, in labor approximately 500 yards away near the bear exhibit, the Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard reported.
"I honestly didn't expect her to deliver at the zoo. I thought we'd pop her in a wheelchair and she'd be good to go to the hospital," said Schmidt, who, realized when she arrived on the scene that the baby wasn't going to wait that long.
Schmidt immediately radioed for blankets and back-up personnel.
"As I came on the scene, the baby was pretty much on its way out," said Zookeeper Sarah Kohler, the next employee to arrive at the birthing scene.
Kohler said the baby girl at first did not cry and she was intent on making sure the baby was breathing.
The woman was taken by ambulance to the hospital, the newspaper reported.
Zoo Director Ted Fox said the zoo intends to send a baby gift to the family. "I'm sure it will be animal related," he said.
"There certainly has been a bumper crop at the zoo for babies. It's following suit with the human species," he said.
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