It’s always a time of celebration when a baby is born at the zoo, but a New York animal sanctuary had a special new arrival when a guest gave birth in front of the bear exhibit last Friday.
The woman was part of a group touring Rosamund Gifford Zoo, in Syracuse, New York, when she went into labour. When members of her group called for help, zoo worker Liz Schmidt went to assist her.
“I honestly didn’t expect her to deliver at the zoo,” Schmidt told local media. “I thought we’d pop her in a wheelchair and she’d be good to go to the hospital.”
But labour was already well underway. As children in the women’s group were lead away to look the lions, the adults gathered around the woman to give her some privacy on the walkway.
Another zoo worker, Sarah Kohler, responded to Schmidt’s radio call for assistance. “As I came on the scene, the baby was pretty much on its way out,” she said.
The baby girl didn’t cry at first, Kohler said, but then showed signs of life.
“Our main concern was to keep the mum and baby warm,” Kohler said, adding that the woman’s friends and zoo staff gave articles of clothing to the duo to keep them warm.
An ambulance then arrived to take the 21-year-old mother and her newborn to nearby Crouse Hospital.
The woman’s name has not been released, but zoo director Ted Fox says he will be sending a gift to the latest baby born at the zoo, adding that “[the gift ] will be animal related”.
Click through our gallery to see other odd places women have given birth, including up a tree, in a helicopter, and at the supermarket.