UPDATE: Animal Adventure Park confirms that April’s calf is a boy, and has launched a website asking for people to help choose his name.
April the giraffe gave birth to her fourth calf on Saturday, April 15, at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, as millions of people around the world watched via livestream.
April went into active labor early Saturday morning after 16 months of pregnancy. “It’s time!!!!!!” Animal Adventure Park wrote on Twitter shortly before April welcomed her calf at approximately 10 a.m. ET.
Giraffes give birth standing up, meaning their babies fall several feet (and head-first!) to the ground. The fall “breaks the amniotic sac, severs the umbilical cord and most importantly encourages the calf to take its first breaths,” according to Animal Planet.
— olivia (@livchipz) April 15, 2017
me watching: wow i can’t believe this miracle what a beautiful — GAHDFSGHDJHWBWL>BDHIEHBFLHBLECBSBC^^#*U*$YHBCSYHW pic.twitter.com/kUKlwridBL
— David Mack (@davidmackau) April 15, 2017
Jordan Patch, the owner of the zoo, began the livestream on February 22. The video was temporarily taken down by YouTube after viewers reported it for “nudity and sexual content,” but it went live again on February 24. YouTube later issued an apology, telling CNET, “With the massive volume of content on our site — 400 hours uploaded every minute — sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that content has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”
In the days leading up to April’s delivery, Animal Adventure Park provided updates to fans on the zoo’s Facebook page. “The staff have been onsite with April all morning, Dr Tim was called and onsite within minutes,” the zoo wrote on March 31. “All observations, behavior, and predictions suggest a calf today, tonight — we would be shocked to get through the weekend without our newest addition. This is what we have all been waiting for! Keep April and our team in your positive thoughts.”
The baby giraffe is April’s fourth calf and the first for April’s mate, Oliver. The zoo previously said it will hold a competition online to determine the baby giraffe’s name.