You've been watching and waiting...and waiting and watching, and the day has finally arrived! April delivered her calf on Saturday, April 15, 2017!
We've been checking the live cam at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, N.Y. since February to witness the birth.
Q. So what happens next?
The calf has to stand, and quickly, if it wants to reach its mother to nurse. The baby may tumble about for a bit before finding its footing, Kunter said. Within the first day, though, it will should able to run, according to Animal Planet.
Q. Wow. Life is truly a miracle. What else should I know?
These births are worth celebrating: Giraffes are now classified as “vulnerable” to extinction, having plummeted in numbers by nearly 40 percent over the last three decades, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Why was April's mate, Oliver, kept separate from April?
Male giraffes instinctively care about three things -- mating, fighting and eating. Oliver is only allowed inside with April a little at a time and under close supervision. Otherwise, he could be a danger to April and her calf by either fighting her, attempting to mate with her or eating her food. Male giraffes also are not part of the child rearing process.
According to Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the average gestation period for a giraffe is about 15 months. Giraffes give birth standing up, so a newborn calf falls about 5 or 6 feet to the ground. A newborn will stand and run within a hour of birth, according to the GCF website.
April is 15 years old and the calf will weigh around 150 pounds and be about 6' tall at birth.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature places the future of the species in its "least concern" category. The giraffe, which lives in arid and dry-savanna zones of sub-Saharan Africa, have seen its range shrink because of increasing human populations in West Africa, according to the IUCN website.
Thursday afternoon, April got a visitor from another giraffe. Watch the encounter, here.
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