UPenn's Foal Cam gives LIVE view into horse's birth

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March 7, 2014 4:03:43 PM PST
For the first time in its history, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine will broadcast LIVE the birth of a foal in its neonatal intensive care unit.

It's happening at Penn Veterinary's New Bolton Center in Chester County.

Viewers around the world have already begun monitoring the mare named My Special Girl, or "MSG" as the Vets at University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center like to call her.

Associate Professor of Large Animal Reproduction Regina Turner, V.M.D. explains, "We get a lot of requests every year. People want to see behind the scenes at New Bolton - what we do, what our vets do."

"We decided we'd put it up live on the Foal Cam so that everybody can watch the baby be born and get a little look behind the scenes as to how our vets get their job done."

Viewers have been keeping track of MSG's progress via University of Pennsylvania's Foal Cam since last week.

The live feed from her stall is available 24/7.

MSG is one of 15 teaching mares that live at New Bolton:

Turner tells us, "[The mares are] selected for their calm temperament and they're used for our veterinary students to learn how to do examinations and general horse management. So they have it pretty good. She's one of our favorites."

MSG'S unborn foal also represents University of Pennsylvania's first successful pregnancy using an advanced reproductive technique.

"It involves harvesting individual eggs from a donor mare and then injecting the egg with a sperm from the stallion of their choice," Turner explained.

In this case, My Special Girl is not biologically related to the foal she is carrying, making her a surrogate.

MSG is expected to foal in a few weeks. After the birth she will nurse her foal for about six months, then one of UPenn's vets is planning to adopt it, and train it as a show horse.

For now they are keeping the gender a secret. But once the young animal is born, you are invited to participate in a contest... to name it.


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