Before an online audience of more than a million viewers, April the giraffe has given birth at a New York zoo, ending weeks of proverbial pacing by animal lovers in a virtual worldwide waiting room.
The 15-year-old giraffe delivered her calf shortly on Saturday morning in an enclosed pen at the zoo in Harpursville, a rural upstate village in New York.
The mamma 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 for the first time while mum helped keep her baby steady.
At least 1.2 million people watched the Adventure Park’s YouTube streaming of the event.
This is April’s fourth calf, but Animal Adventure Park’s first giraffe calf.
The proud papa, a five-year-old giraffe named Oliver, watched from an adjacent pen. This is his first offspring.
The privately owned zoo began lifestreaming from April’s enclosure in February. People around the world have been tuning in daily.
April has her own website and even an apparel line.
A GoFundMe fundraiser page that initially set a goal of $US50,000 sat at more than $US125,000 on Saturday morning. The money will be used for the care of the animals. A contest will be held to decide on a name for the calf.
No immediate details on the calf were announced, but they usually weigh around 70kg and are about 1.8m tall at birth.
Giraffes are pregnant for 15 months on average.
SOURCE: newsnow worldnews