The live stream from Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, captured the fascination of the world: On April 15, 2017, at approximately 9 a.m., April the Giraffe gave birth to a healthy male calf. An estimated 1.2 million people watched the eagerly anticipated moment.
April, who had previously given birth to three calves, was in labor for a little over two-and-a-half hours. (This baby, however, marks the first for proud papa Oliver the Giraffe.)
Unfortunately, April sustained an injury during the birth: a small twist in her leg. The park said on Facebook that these sort of injuries are "not unheard of in long-legged animals" and a doctor was onsite to help her. A follow-up post assured, "April's walk and stance are almost perfect again. Her leg twist was the equivalent of rolling your ankle slightly."
In an official statement regarding the birth of April's baby boy, Animal Adventure Park Owner Jordan Patch said, "His entrance into the world was unnerving to even those of us who have witnessed animal births previously. 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! After many months of pregnancy, both mom and calf are doing fine."
The day after the birth, the calf stood 5 feet 9 inches and weighed 129 pounds, and was "nursing strongly...without any concerns."
While the adorable baby (who fans can still check up on via live stream) hasn't been named yet, he will be with his mother at Animal Adventure Park through most of the 2017 season, as weaning can take up to 14 months.
Image via Animal Adventure Park Facebook
Read more: How to Become a Veterinarian