HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. — Nearly two months after her progress began to be livestreamed, April the giraffe went into a long-awaited labor early Saturday morning and gave birth to her baby, zookeepers with Animal Adventure Park said.
“Everybody, are you watching? It’s happening,” a park official said on Facebook. “The team is assembling. We are in labor.”
April was pacing in the barn as the hooves of the new calf appeared.
The birth has been teased for weeks. On Thursday, zookeepers said the giraffe appeared to be distracted and “out of it,” while noting “significant bulging” in the belly.
Earlier in the week, officials said they did not expect any more physical changes in the giraffe but were instead waiting for changes in her activity.
“We are waiting for increased pacing to indicate an active labor situation has begun, in addition to pushing/contractions. So, be watchful of behavioral changes,” zookeepers wrote on Facebook on Monday.
The zoo began livestreaming the giraffe on Feb. 23 and she has gained worldwide attention as several thousand people watched daily, waiting to see the birth. On Saturday morning, more than 800,000 were watching the live feed.
This will be April’s fourth calf and the first for Oliver. The calf will weigh around 150 pounds and be approximately 6 feet tall at birth, zoo officials said.
The video was initially removed after animal rights activists flagged the videos as “sexually explicit” before being restored.