April the Giraffe, the world’s most famous long-necked mom, just gave birth to her fifth, sweet and squirmy, spotted calf.
The 17-year-old mom delivered a healthy calf right around noon on Saturday at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York.
The park caught the whole miraculous delivery on a live YouTube feed. Viewers tuned in to see the fifth-time mom give birth and bond with her new baby.
April first captivated the internet in 2017, when she delivered her son, Tajiri. The world watched as the then 15-year-old cow (that’s the word for a female giraffe) brought a lovable son into the world.
On Saturday morning, nearly 300,000 viewers tuned in again for April’s second live delivery.
Last week, park staffers posted on Facebook, saying that “thick discharge, lots of tail raising, & obvious calf re-positioning," indicated that April’s due date was fast approaching.
Even with these clear signs of labor though, the park team could only guess that April would give birth around mid-March. Today's delivery came as a welcome celebration for the park community and its doting fans.
The live birth again enthralled thousands of congratulatory social media users. “We have a calf congrats guys thanks for letting us watch,” one animal lover wrote.
“April is the text book Mamma giraffe, hands down the best! So, so exciting and grateful,” another fan added.
Caretakers will let April bond with her new baby for the next few days. They won’t even bother April to check the baby’s gender; so fans will have to wait a bit to find out if the little one is a girl or a boy.
Even still, April, her new calf and the baby’s father all appear to be in good spirits. While mother and baby cuddle in one stall, Oliver, the calf's dad, hangs out in his own pen, adjacent to his family.
According to park owner Jordan Patch, April’s pregnancy was totally “textbook,” just like her last one. Most giraffe mamas carry a baby in the womb for around 15 months before giving birth. So this March birthdate was a long time coming for April.
Although April’s new baby is just sitting in a bed of straw right now, he or she will be up and trotting around in just a matter of hours! Although a giraffe's pregnancy runs longer than a human one, the calf matures far more quickly.
Many giraffe calves stand up within 30 minutes of birth and begin running alongside their moms within just ten hours.
At two years old, Tajiri — or Taj, for short — is already out on his own on the other side of the park. He has even started courting a “female companion,” according to Patch, who keeps a close eye on his giraffes.
While some fans still follow Taj’s adventures on his own YouTube channel, droves of followers started a new community that focused on April’s second calf. According to Patch, the live birth not only offers viewers insight into a giraffe’s delivery process, it creates a safe space to witness the miracle of life.
"We hear remarkable stories daily about how the giraffe cam has helped bring viewers a sense of community," Patch said. "Individuals struggling with grief, depression, losses and more turn to the camera as a reprieve from the rest of their world.”