After months of waiting, April, a giraffe at a New York zoo that became an Internet sensation, finally gave birth on Saturday morning. Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York has not announced the calf’s sex yet but an official did call it a “perfect delivery.” They will now hold a contest to name the giraffe.
It is April’s fourth calf, but it was the first time one of the giraffe’s pregnancies had become so popular. It all went back to February, when someone reported the live feed that had been set up to follow the last moments of the pregnancy as “sexually explicit.” YouTube briefly took it down but the ensuing attention made the feed extremely popular as millions tuned in to try to catch the moment April gave birth. In early March, the BBC said it had become “the most anticipated birth since Prince George made his appearance in 2013.”
Many grew frustrated as weeks turned into months, with some even speculating that it was all a ruse by the for-profit zoo that has raised more than $120,000 on GoFundMe, launched a subscription text message service to find out the latest on the pregnancy, and got Toys ‘R’ Us to sponsor the livestream. But on Saturday morning, the zoo went live on Facebook to announce April had gone into labor at around 8 a.m. And by the time she gave birth more than 1.2 million people were following along online.