April, a 15-year-old giraffe at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York is expecting her fourth calf - and the world is along for the ride.
April The Giraffe thrilled over one million viewers on April 15 when she finally gave birth to the adorable calf they had been waiting to see for nearly two months. The family is rounded out by a 5-year-old giraffe named Oliver, the newborn's father.
The live stream lasted just under two hours, with April giving birth at 9:54 a.m.
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According to the zoo, giraffes have evolved to hide their labor from predators and, as a result, it is hard to determine when a female is in labor until the calf's hoof becomes visible. Veterinarians at Animal Adventure Park has been posting daily updates on their Facebook page. Unfortunately, the giraffe calf will not stay at the park but will ultimately be rehomed. It is the first time a calf has been born in the animal park. On a few occasions, winter weather managed to take down internet service - and the giraffe camera - concerning fans and sending park workers into a frenzy. A typical giraffe's gestational period is around 13 to 15 months (this time around, April was slightly over, closer to 16 months). April's fans could not contain their excitement as they kicked off their Saturday glued to their screens to get a better look at the pregnant giraffe and her calf.
The public fascination with April's unborn calf blossomed when the zoo began providing a live YouTube stream in February. They also note that the reason April was in her indoor stall for much of February and March was because of the cold weather outside.
The giraffes have some of the biggest pens in the nation (square foot per animal).
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Jordan Patch, the owner of Animal Adventure Park, described the global attention the impending giraffe birth has garnered as "overwhelming" for him and his four-member staff, who also care for 200 other animals.
Junior Georganne Jadhon stated, "I was starting to think she wasn't even pregnant because of how long it is taking her to give birth".
The new born baby is already around 6 foot tall and is expected to weigh about 150lbs (68.04kg) The Guardian reports.
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Animal Adventure park is now closed to the public and will open in mid-May.