WXXI AM News

April the giraffe gets another big moment online

Mar 16, 2019

Credit Spectrum News

(AP & WXXI News) April the Giraffe gave birth once again in front of an enthralled YouTube audience on Saturday.

More than 300,000 watched live as April gave birth to a healthy male calf at around 12:45 p.m., the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York said. Harpursville is east of Binghatmon

Park officials say the newborn giraffe was on its feet by 1:27 p.m., and nursing by 1:51 p.m.

"Success! With an average 15-month gestation, we are thankful to have a healthy calf on the ground, nursing and bonding with mom," animal park owner Jordan Patch said. "With wild giraffe numbers plummeting annually, every calf born counts."

April drew more than 232 million YouTube live views during a seven-week period in 2017 before she gave birth to Tajiri That came as a surprise for the small zoo 130 miles (209 kilometers) northwest of New York City.

This is April's fifth calf and the second for her and Oliver, the dad of Tajiri and the newborn. A naming contest for the new calf will be held soon.

Fans will be able to see the little one face to face when Animal Adventure Park opens for the season on May 1.

Zoo officials said big brother Tajiri, meanwhile, is on his way to starting a family of his own. The park welcomed an adult female giraffe, known as Johari, in January.

Not everyone is celebrating, however. "Another giraffe calf will be born into captivity, doomed to spend his or her life in confinement, all for one roadside zoo's desire for internet fame and profit," blogger Katherine Sullivan wrote on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' website in July.

Patch bristles at suggestions the giraffe cam is motivated by money.

"The entire event is free to the world," he said. "No one has to pay a cent to participate here. But people are so compelled and moved that they want to support what's happening."