April the Giraffe Just Gave Birth

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After weeks of live-streaming allowed interested viewers around the world to peek in on the laboring mother, April the giraffe has given birth, USA Today reports. The giraffe, who is substantially famous as giraffes go, gave birth Saturday shortly after 12:40 p.m. where she is housed at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York. The live stream resumed earlier that day, allowing interested viewers to watch April’s progress in real time.

The park kept fans in the loop, offering frequent social media updates and even a text-based alert system that upon request provided immediate updates, allowing users to know when the time was drawing near so that they could get in place in front of their screens to view the live webcam.

This is not April’s first birth at Animal Adventure Park, nor the first to be covered so comprehensively on social media. In 2017, the park generated worldwide interest with their first foray into such substantial coverage of a giraffe birth, as April labored on webcam with Tajiri, April’s fourth calf. More than a million viewers logged on to see Tajiri’s birth.

Fans around the globe were enticed at the possibility of an upcoming birth when the park posted to Instagram on March 1 after previously only being able to provide a relatively vague idea of a due date being in the Spring of 2019.

The March 1 post said, somewhat clinically, “April continues to swell on the back end, with a slight discharge. Mammary development is significant, with udders filling. Pacing and stargazing behavior observed. Our entire team remains on standby. While we are not in labor, we will continue to monitor progression.”

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Since then, interested viewers have been checking in often, viewing the live stream, following social media updates, and even subscribing to the text alert system to ensure that they don’t miss a thing.

Jordan Patch, owner of the park, had previously given fans and interested giraffe enthusiasts some ideas on how to spot signs of progression as April prepared to give birth.

“On the physical side, we’re looking for obviously an increase in her belly, essentially the size of the calf inside there, which we’re seeing that. We’re also watching the baby kick and move around and most recently as of yesterday starting to appear to be getting into position,” Patch said.

More than 300,000 people today watched the birth live via YouTube, with others following along through posts and streams on other social platforms. Now that the birth is complete and that both calf and mother seem to be healthy, the park says they will turn their attention to selecting a name for the new arrival.