Wait is over for April the giraffe, YouTube star and new mom

Wait is over for April the giraffe, YouTube star and new mom

HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. — The wait is over for April the giraffe and the legions of fans who watched a New York zoo’s livestream for signs that the long-legged internet star was in labour.

April gave birth to a healthy male calf Saturday at the privately-owned Animal Adventure Park before an online audience of more than a million viewers.

The 15-year-old giraffe delivered her calf shortly before 10 a.m. EDT in an enclosed pen at the zoo in Harpursville, a rural upstate village about 130 miles (209 kilometres) northwest of New York City.

The mama giraffe tenderly licked her calf, which began to slowly pick its head up from the floor of the pen. About 45 minutes after it was born, the calf stood on its wobbly legs while mom helped keep her baby steady. He began nursing not long after.

At least 1.2 million people watched the Adventure Park’s YouTube streaming of the event. Zoo owner Jordan Patch said both mom and calf were doing fine.

Patch called the birth “unnerving” to watch. “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,” he said in a news release.

The newborn is April’s fourth calf but Animal Adventure Park’s first giraffe calf. The proud papa, a 5-year-old giraffe named Oliver, watched from an adjacent pen. This is his first offspring.

The zoo began livestreaming from April’s enclosure in February. People around the world have been tuning in daily, with some growing impatient as the pregnancy seemed to drag on.

A Farmington, New Hampshire, songwriter even posted a music video on YouTube called, “I’m Going Crazy Waiting (For A Giraffe).”

April has her own website and even an apparel line. A GoFundMe fundraiser page that initially set a goal of $50,000 sat at more than $134,000 by Saturday night. The money will be used for the care of the animals.

A contest will be held to decide on a name for the calf.

The park’s livestream was briefly interrupted in February when YouTube pulled the feed after someone reported the images contained explicit material and nudity. Patch blamed “a handful of extremists and animal rights activists” for the interruption.

The new calf’s vital statistics were not announced, but newborn giraffes usually weigh around 150 pounds (68.04 kilograms) and are about 6 feet (1.83 metres) tall at birth. Giraffes are pregnant for 15 months on average.

Animal Adventure park is currently closed to the public and will open in mid-May.

The Associated Press

Just Posted

Sooke to host Western Canada’s first all-female boxing card

58 fighters from across North America to be featured at April 28 and 29 event

UPDATE: Two rescued after falling from ferry at Swartz Bay

One crew member is injured after rescue boat mechanism fails, causing it to fall from the ferry

Missing: 72-year old Gregory Helmer

Victoria Police are asking for your help in locating Gregory Helmer.

Victoria’s Elizabeth Buckley School to close in June

Independent school suffers teacher shortage after 30 years of providing education alternatives

From wet noodle to Killer bee

Sooke reporter reflects on four month boxing challenge

New play examines Indigenous identity

Belfry Theatres Salt Baby coming to Victoria April 17 - May 13

Builder of Kinder Morgan reinforces concerns over project

B.C. heads to court over pipeline jurisdiction as builder says doubt warranted

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

Health committee cheers idea of national pharmacare program, but cost an issue

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says she fears costs could be far higher than $19 billion

Canada’s oldest blood donor says it’s all gain, no pain after decades of giving

Great-grandmother and Coquitlam, B.C., resident has been donating blood since the late 1940s

Union says Trump bullying threatens hundreds of B.C. pulp mill jobs

Fear mounts that new U.S. anti-dumping duties could price Catalyst mills out of business

B.C. real estate regulator to undergo NDP review

B.C. real estate agents were self-regulated until 2016, when BC Liberals appointed superintendent

B.C. pizza shop broken into 4 times in 2 weeks

A Vernon business owner is beginning to feel targeted

Man accused of Abbotsford school stabbing hearing voices, intensely paranoid

Lawyer says Gabriel Klein not fit to stand trial in May because of deteriorating mental state

Most Read