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Syracuse zoo staff delivers human bundle of joy

| Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, 6:30 p.m.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — An upstate New York zoo got a surprise visit from the stork. There's nothing surprising about babies being born at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, but on Friday the bundle of joy was a human, the Post Standard reported.

Liz Schmidt, a zoo educator, was busy at a reindeer exhibit when a call came over her radio that 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. “I thought we'd pop her in a wheelchair and she'd be good to go to the hospital.”

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 I came on the scene, the baby was pretty much on its way out,” said Sarah Kohler, a zookeeper who helped Schmidt.

John Moakler, the zoo's elephant collection manager, provided crowd control by shooing visitors to other exhibits as the 21-year-old gave birth to a daughter.

An ambulance soon arrived to take the newborn to a hospital. For privacy reasons, the hospital could not discuss the condition of the mother or her daughter.

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