April the giraffe has given birth at a NY zoo as more than a million people around the world watched live.
April is one of the most popular residents at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York. "Giraffes give birth standing up, which means when the calf is ready to be born, it exits its mother hooves first from six feet off the floor, making for a very exciting event!" The proud father, a five-year-old named Oliver, watched from an adjacent pen.
Zoo officials have yet to announce the calf's gender. Following the announcement that the giraffe was finally giving birth, the YouTube live feed had nearly a million current viewers.
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With constant updates, her own website and merchandise and thousands watching as a new baby giraffe comes into the world. Animal Adventure's owner, Jordan Patch, has described the global attention as "overwhelming" for him and his four-member staff, who also care for 200 other animals.
The zoo began livestreaming from April's enclosure in February. The zoo plans to hold a contest to name the baby. "We had a giraffe baby together;" "Everybody sticking their neck out for this baby giraffe;" and "On a day where "mother of all bombs" is a trending phrase, I love how the world unites over the birth of a baby giraffe".
Many grew frustrated as weeks turned into months, with some even speculating that it was all a ruse by the for-profit zoo that has raised more than $120,000 on GoFundMe, launched a subscription text message service to find out the latest on the pregnancy, and got Toys "R" Us to sponsor the livestream.
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The park is now closed to the public and will open in mid-May.
No details have been revealed about the new arrival, but giraffe calves typically weigh around 150lbs (68kg) and are around 6ft tall at birth.
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