What to Know
April has captivated tens of millions of people across the world who have been checking in on her via the live stream
The long-necked beauty gave birth to a healthy male calf just before 10 a.m Saturday
The calf was the first born at Animal Adventure Park, and the zoo says it will hold a contest to name it
April the pregnant giraffe is pregnant no more — the long-necked beauty has finally given birth to a healthy male calf!
More than a million viewers tuned into Animal Adventure Park's YouTube live stream to watch the birth of April's fourth calf, which happened within about two hours (WARNING: Some may find the live stream and photos below graphic).
The mom protectively stood over her baby as she licked him lovingly. The calf lay sprawled out on a bed of hay after dropping from his mother's womb minutes before 10 a.m. Oliver peered his head over his pen to catch a glimpse of his son and trotted around as the new dad anxieties began to set in.
Owner Jordan Patch beamed with pride as he told more than 2 million viewers tuned in to the zoo's Facebook live stream that everything went "absolutely perfect" and the staff "couldn't have planned it better."
"There you have it guys, we have a baby," he said. "We're going to let mom and baby do their thing for a bit. This is great, awesome, everything went according to plan."
Patch says the eager-to-nurse calf is already nibbling on his mom.
The calf's spindly legs wobbled as he attempted to stand on its own. But shortly before noon, the zoo shared an adorable photo of April nuzzling him while he stood beneath her trying to nurse.
"All is well," the caption reads.
The long-necked beauty went into labor shortly before 8 a.m. Saturday. Fans got a sneak preview of the birth through a captionless photo posted to Facebook showing what appeared to be the leg of a giraffe calf.
About an hour after her labor was announced, two little legs and the calf's front hooves were seen dangling from April's backside in a livestream posted to the Harpursville, New York, zoo's Facebook page. Her keepers were all smiles as they anxiously watched from outside her pen.
April has teased her millions of global adorers for weeks now, showing signs of near-but-not-quite labor and otherwise enchanting her audience with cute right-at-the-camera gazes and tongue flicks, snack noshing and nuzzling with her much younger but handsome 5-year-old beau.
April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines in late February after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's live stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site's policies concerning "nudity and sexual content." Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so.
Patch says the natural curiosity surrounding giraffes and their birthing process has been a huge factor in drawing crowds.
"I think the fact that she's a giraffe and she's a neat species that people are interested in, that's fostered a lot of the attention," he said. "The fact that you'll get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don't get to see give birth — that's neat."
He added that April's pregnancy was more than just live entertainment, but a teachable moment and source for education.