After months of waiting April, the giraffe finally gave birth to a male calf on Saturday morning. At about 7:30 a.m., Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch shared on Facebook that the event was final happening and that April was in labor 100 percent.

There had been other false alarms in the past weeks, but the live stream of the park showed April with a set of hooves peeking outside the giraffe’s backside. Then at 9:55 a.m. she gave birth to her giraffe calf.

A giraffe baby hit the ground among a shower of amniotic fluids, as over 1.2 million people saw the event.

April the giraffe
April, the pregnant giraffe from the Harpursville Animal Adventure Park in New York gave birth to a male calf on Saturday morning. Image credit: Animal Adventure Park / ABC 7

April’s calf is a healthy male little giraffe

The little –compared to its mother- giraffe, took his first steps half an hour later he was born. April had licked him and stood close until the baby giraffe was able to stand up and give his first wobbly steps around the pen. Then, the giraffe fell to the floor and April continued to lick her precious baby.

The sex of the baby was disclosed several hours his birth. Animal Adventure Park, a zoo in upstate New York, set up a text alert system for $4.99, which warns people of everything related to April and her baby before and after the birth, so individuals who acquired the service were able to find out the sex before everyone else.

The park also expected to hold a contest to name the baby giraffe, according to Hollywood Life.

“We do have a naming contest in the works,” told Patch to Hollywood Life on February 24. “A current, possible exclusive deal with a day time talk show too. We are shocked on just how viral this has gone.”

The world has been closely following April story ever since the park announced that she and her mate Oliver, a 5-year-old giraffe, were expecting a calf.  It’s not the first time that April has carried a baby; she’s the mother of three other giraffes. The 15-year-old giraffe went viral when Youtube took down the feed for April’s labor work in February. Someone had reported the live stream for sexually explicit content, but shortly after Youtube restored the feed and April became a media sensation.

Patch blamed the false reports on animal rights activist groups that are opposed to keeping animals in captivity. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals repeatedly condemned the live stream and said that April’s calf would be denied a natural life. However, the park has defended all the publicity around April and her cub claiming that they are raising awareness for giraffe conservation.

giraffes face extinction
The giraffe population has moved from Least Concern to Vulnerable due to a dramatic decline over the past few years. Photo credit: Melbourne Zoo / Wikipedia

April the giraffe’s story has raised a lot of money

The giraffe was reported to be in labor in February, and she was expected to deliver in March. However, March passed and no baby giraffe. She was later scheduled to give birth early April, leading people to believe that the park was pulling an April Fools’ Day joke, but although there was no joking, the expected baby wasn’t delivered that weekend.

April the giraffe’s story has been shared countlessly ever since the live stream started two months ago, and companies have taken advantage from her pregnancy. According to Forbes, Toys R Us began sponsoring the feed three weeks ago, which was initially sponsored by exotic food nutrition company, Mazuri.

The famous toy retailer, which has been undergoing cutbacks and sales declines over the last months, has received outstanding success ever since they became involved with April’s story. Forbes reports that Toys R Us social media numbers have increased dramatically over the last two weeks: 10 million Facebook users have seen their videos, they have received over 850,000 engagements on Facebook (comments, shares, and likes), 1.6 million impressions on Twitter and a 2,500% rise in social media audience reach.

Animal Adventure Park has also experienced revenue from April’s pregnancy. The park began to sell April the giraffe merchandise online, including T-shirts, totes, and onesies. In February, the zoo started a GoFundMe campaign to support the giraffe and her calf.

“Funds generated will be used to offset their annual care at our facility,” says the GoFundMe page. “Anything generated, above and beyond the goal, will be dedicated to improvements of the new Giraffe Encounter Deck.”

The page was set to raise $50,000 and it has received over $129,000 already, with over 4,042 people donating to the cause. According to PressConnects, the park expects to launch another GoFundMe page on Saturday, to allow people suggest a name for the calf if they donate $1. All the money raised will be divided between giraffe conservation for giraffes on the wild, giraffe care at the park and Ava’s Little Heroes annual fundraiser. Six names will be selected from voters in social media.

Animal Adventure Park set up a page for April, the giraffe after the story went viral, and hope that sharing her story will help to save the endangered species. The park is part of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, and on their website, they note that Giraffe numbers have declined by 40 percent in the last 30 years.  Giraffes are now listed as vulnerable to extinction, with less than 100,000 giraffes remaining in the wild.

Source: The Washington Post