Horse Gives Birth Live on UPenn's 'Foal Cam'

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Viewers could watch a pregnant mare give birth courtesy of a camera at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine. (Published Saturday, Mar 29, 2014)

    The University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine "Foal Cam" captured the live birth of a horse Saturday.

    The pregnant mare, My Special Girl, could be seen moving around a grass-covered pen while veterinarians monitored her labor Saturday.

    Vets taped up My Special Girl's tail around 9 p.m. About 10 minutes later, viewers could see the foal's legs begin to emerge.

    Four people from Penn Vet assisted in the birth and immediately began monitoring the new horse after the colt arrived at 9:22 p.m.

    My Special Girl, who is an 11-year-old Thoroughbred used for teaching veterinary students, licked her offspring clean while the pair recuperated together.

    The mare was a surrogate, impregnated through an advanced reproductive technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI. The procedure involves injecting a single sperm into a mature egg. After fertilization, specialists transferred the embryo to My Special Girl in April 2013

    A Thoroughbred-Cleveland Bay cross mare provided the egg and a long-deceased Thoroughbred-Quarter Horse cross stallion provided the sperm, which came from frozen semen.

    Her pregnancy represents the first time ICSI has been completed successfully in the Delaware Valley, a procedure the doctors hope the school will replicate.

    The camera started rolling on Feb. 26, ahead of My Special Girl's due date of March 14.

    The school will be holding a naming contest for the new horse.