Full zoo! April the Giraffe gave birth to her fifth calf on Saturday, March 16, as viewers tuned in to its arrival via livestream.
Animal Adventure Park posted at about 11 a.m. that April was in labor and shared a photo on Facebook of a hoof emerging. About 800,000 people logged into the park’s YouTube channel to watch the special moment.
The park’s owner Jordan Patch announced in July 2018 that April was pregnant again, with an estimated due date of spring 2019. “The results are in and we are having a baby!” he told Today at the time, quipping that the viral star “likes to go 16, 17, 18, 19” months before delivering. Giraffes typically carry their calves for approximately 15 months.
The official Facebook page for the Harpursville, New York, zoo posted on Wednesday, March 6, that the birth was “imminent.” The prospected timeline was “hours” or “a day or so perhaps.” A zookeeper noted, “It won’t be two months of waiting!”
According to a post later that evening, April’s udders were “comparable in size to what they were days prior [to] Taj’s birth.”
April won over the world in April 2017 when she delivered Tajiri as more than 2 million viewers watched on a livestream. The calf, a boy, weighed 129 pounds and was one-foot tall upon his arrival.
Patch revealed in July that the sex of the baby would not be known until April gave birth. However, he confirmed that its father is Oliver, the same dad as Tajiri.
“Every calf counts,” the owner told Today at the time. “Giraffe populations have declined by 40 percent in the past 30 years, so every calf born in a captive management program means something.”
Patch also raved about April’s parenting skills on Good Morning America in November 2017. “She’s obviously very in-tune to him and protective of him,” he said of her bond with Tajiri. “But she’s also allowing him to take in that independent trait that he has, which definitely comes from his father.”