April the giraffe in NY giving birth before online audience

April the giraffe welcomed a not-so-little bundle of joy Saturday morning after animal lovers devoted weeks to watching and waiting. The giraffe is a member of the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, some 200 miles away from NY.

About 45 minutes after it was born, the calf managed to stand on its legs for the first time despite the fact that the healthy calf was at least one month overdue. Animal Adventure has not announced a height and weight for April's calf.

The calf's father is Oliver, a five-year-old giraffe kept in the same petting zoo. People around the world have been tuning in daily.

The news service adds that the zoo plans on a naming contest.

The big day arrived Saturday - a day before Easter - when viewers glued themselves to their screens to watch the miracle of birth.

A GoFundMe fundraising page which initially set a goal of 50,000 U.S. dollars sat at more than 125,000 USA dollars on Saturday morning. Animal Adventure's owner, Jordan Patch, has described the global attention as "overwhelming" for him and his four-member staff, who also care for 200 other animals.

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The park's livestream was briefly interrupted in February when YouTube pulled the feed after someone reported the images contained explicit material and nudity.

In this image made from video provided by Animal Adventure Park in Binghamton, N.Y., April the giraffe muzzles her new calf seconds after giving birth on Saturday, April 15, 2017.

The reaction on Twitter was ebullient and hopeful: "We did it, internet!"

For over two months now, so many of us have been focusing a frankly ridiculous amount of attention on a pregnant giraffe living in a NY zoo.

Animal Adventure park is now closed to the public and will open in mid-May.

  • Rita Burton